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The ten Sorts of Squirrels Present in the USA! (2023)

What sorts of squirrels can you discover in the USA?

I’ve discovered squirrels trigger a variety of feelings. Some people discover them cute and love watching their loopy antics!


However many individuals can’t stand having squirrels round, notably on their chook feeders! These feeding fans are continually battling these acrobatic rodents to maintain them on the bottom and away from their chook meals.


No matter your private emotions, I believe squirrels are attention-grabbing to study. If you’re inquisitive about all of the species that may be discovered close to you, please preserve studying. ????


Beneath are the ten sorts of squirrels that reside in the USA!


#1. Jap Grey Squirrel

common squirrels in the united states

Scientific Identify: Sciurus carolinensis

Common Size (Together with tail): 16.6 – 21.6 inches / 42 – 55 cm

Weight: 14 – 21 oz / 400 – 600 grams

Lifespan: Adults sometimes reside to be about 6 years outdated. Some fortunate people can reside as much as 12 years within the wild, assuming they don’t seem to be eaten by a hawk, owl, bobcat, fox, weasel, feral cat, snake, or human.


The Jap Grey Squirrel is widespread in the USA, and one of many squirrels that individuals do battle with probably the most at their yard chook feeders!


Jap Grey Squirrel Vary Map

gray squirrel range map


These rodents eat quite a lot of meals, however naturally, their favorites are undoubtedly nuts, comparable to acorns, walnuts, and hazelnuts. As winter approaches, Jap Grey Squirrels begin hiding meals in lots of places, which supplies them diet by the colder months. They conceal extra meals than they may ever discover once more, and a few of these additional seeds will finally develop into new bushes. Who knew that squirrels might play such an essential function in seed dispersal?


Many individuals have thrown up their palms in defeat as they attempt to cease these acrobatic mammals from taking up the chook feeders of their yard. Jap Grey Squirrels LOVE birdseed and are relentless after they know a simple meal awaits inside a feeder. Their favourite meals embody sunflower seeds, peanuts, and corn.

types of squirrels in the united states

Within the wild, these squirrels are present in giant, dense deciduous forests filled with mature bushes (oaks, hickories) that produce a number of nuts! However these adaptable critters are equally comfy dwelling in suburban and concrete neighborhoods, parks, and farms!


Whereas this squirrel is native to the japanese United States, they’re really an invasive species in different components of the nation and world. Jap Grey Squirrels are particularly problematic in lots of components of Europe as a result of they outcompete and displace their native squirrels, such because the extremely cute Eurasian Purple Squirrel.


Some grey squirrels are black!


Sure, I notice that it’s a bit unusual that some Jap Grey Squirrels have black fur, but it surely’s true! These black squirrels seem as a morph, and genetically talking, it’s believed to end result from a defective pigment gene. Nobody is actually certain why the black morph advanced, however a number of theories have been supplied. Some scientists assume it could be a selective benefit for squirrels that inhabit the northern ranges to assist them take in warmth because the colour of black conducts warmth greatest.


Whatever the cause, seeing a black squirrel is extremely superior! I’m fortunate sufficient to see them virtually each day in my yard, hanging out with their grey counterparts.


#2. American Purple Squirrel

american red squirrel - species of squirrels in the united states


Scientific Identify: Tamiasciurus hudsonicus

Common Size (Together with tail): 11- 14 inches / 28 – 35.5 cm

Weight: 7.1–8.8 oz / 200–250 g

Lifespan: They expertise extreme mortality throughout their first 12 months, as solely about 20% of infants survive. For people that survive the primary 12 months, the common lifespan continues to be solely 2.3 years, with a most lifespan of 8 years. Predators embody bobcats, coyotes, hawks, owls, foxes, American Martens, and Canadian Lynxes.


The American Purple Squirrel is widespread throughout the USA and straightforward to establish when in comparison with different squirrel species. Because the title suggests, they’ve a reddish colour and white stomach that makes them straightforward to differentiate. Dimension-wise, they’re each MUCH smaller than each grey and fox squirrels however bigger than chipmunks.


American Purple Squirrel Vary Map

american red squirrel range map


These squirrels are primarily present in coniferous forests because of their food regimen, which consists of seeds from evergreen bushes. However they’re equally at house in deciduous forests, backyards, parks, and concrete areas, the place they regulate their food regimen to eat meals comparable to berries, chook eggs, acorns, hazelnuts, mushrooms, mice, and sunflower seeds from yard chook feeding stations. American Purple Squirrels also have a candy tooth and are identified to faucet maple bushes to allow them to eat the sugar from the sap!


These squirrels are BEST identified for his or her aggressive persona!


Press PLAY to listen to the sounds of an American Purple Squirrel!


Once I go mountain climbing, I virtually at all times see no less than one American Purple Squirrel, as they don’t seem to be shy creatures. As quickly as I’m noticed, the squirrel sometimes runs up a tree to take a seat after which begins making loud chattering noises to alert the entire forest to my presence!


And regardless of their small measurement, these squirrels run the present in the event that they present as much as your chook feeders. I’ve personally witnessed these feisty rodents push back greater than FIVE Jap Grey Squirrels away from my feeding station in order that they will have the place to themselves. (Watch the video beneath to see for your self!)


Feeding birds is a problem with these squirrels round!


From a chook feeding perspective, American Purple Squirrels current distinctive challenges if you wish to forestall them from consuming your birdseed. Right here’s why:

red squirrels

  • These squirrels are sufficiently small to suit by most caged chook feeders. These feeders are designed to stop bigger squirrels (Jap Grey, Fox) from becoming by whereas nonetheless permitting small songbirds to eat.


  • Many chook feeders have been designed to be weight-sensitive and shut if sufficient weight, like that from a squirrel, sits on the perch. As a result of American Purple Squirrels are so small and light-weight, they don’t power the perch to shut on many feeders, which permits them to eat as a lot as they need.


Injury brought on by an American Purple Squirrel!


  • These feisty squirrels will do virtually ANYTHING to get entry to the place you retailer your chook meals. For instance, I preserve my seed saved in a shed, both in metallic bins or plastic 5-gallon buckets with lids. As you possibly can see from the harm above, American Purple Squirrels are the one animals at my home that chew by laborious plastic to get to the seed. Fortunately, they haven’t discovered easy methods to chew by metallic… but. ????


#3. Fox Squirrel

fox squirrel


Scientific Identify: Sciurus niger

Common Size (Together with tail): 17.7 – 27.6 inches / 45 – 70 cm

Weight: 1.1 – 2.2 kilos  / 500 – 1000 grams

Lifespan: Captive Fox Squirrels have been identified to reside as much as 18 years. Within the wild, their most lifespan is 12.6 years for females and eight.6 years for males. Nonetheless, people not often reside that lengthy because of overhunting, illness from mange mites, extreme winter climate, or predation from foxes, coyotes, and birds of prey.


Fox Squirrels are the biggest tree squirrel in the USA.


Fox Squirrel Vary Map

fox squirrel range map


These squirrels, that are native to a lot of the japanese United States, can adapt to many alternative habitats. They’re most frequently present in small patches of deciduous forests that embody bushes that produce their favourite meals, that are acorns, walnuts, pecans, and hickory nuts. To organize for winter, they conceal caches of those nuts in every single place to be eaten later when the climate turns chilly.


Sadly, Fox Squirrels have been launched to many places out west the place they don’t seem to be native, together with California, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Colorado, North Dakota, Washington, New Mexico, British Columbia, and Ontario. Fox Squirrels are placing strain on native squirrel species because of their capacity to outcompete them.


Fox Squirrels appear to thrive round individuals.

common fox squirrels


Subsequently, they’re generally present in city parks and neighborhoods. For instance, Fox Squirrels have been a daily sight everywhere in the campus (Baldwin-Wallace College) the place I went to varsity, and adoringly liked by each college students and school!


You’ll doubtless see Fox Squirrels foraging on the bottom, as they spend a lot of their time there. However don’t let this truth idiot you, since they’re nonetheless expert climbers. Along with scaling bushes, they may simply climb a chook feeder pole to get entry to birdseed. ????


Most Fox Squirrels observe the identical coloration, which is a grayish-brown fur coat with orange hair on their stomach and on the sting of their tail. However these squirrels have extremely variable colorations, relying on location. For instance, the Delmarva Fox Squirrel, which is native to a number of states within the east, is grey on prime with a white stomach, whitish toes, and a grey tail with white frosting. Within the southeast, a subspecies referred to as Sherman’s Fox Squirrels are discovered with black heads that distinction with a white nostril and ears, together with fur coats that vary in colour from grey to black.


Fox Squirrels are unimaginable jumpers!

WATCH squirrels leaping about 10 toes to my chook feeders!


They will leap as much as 15 toes horizontally. In case you don’t need these squirrels in your chook feeders, then you’ll want to keep in mind this truth. Place your feeding station away from locations that squirrels can use as a launchpad, comparable to bushes, fences, and constructions. On a facet observe, the squirrels within the video above are Jap Grey Squirrels, NOT Fox Squirrels. Regardless, I believed it demonstrated my level that these athletic rodents can leap REALLY FAR!


#4. Abert’s Squirrel

aberts squirrel


Scientific Identify: Sciurus aberti

Common Size (Together with tail): 18 – 23 inches / 46 to 58 cm

Weight: 19 – 34 oz / 540 – 971 g


The ears on an Abert’s Squirrel, that are additionally referred to as Tassel-eared Squirrels, are distinctive, and it’s laborious to mistake when you see one. Simply search for lengthy tufts of hair on every ear (besides that the tufts disappear in summer time)! As well as, they’ve a darkish grey coat, pure white underbelly, and a noticeable rusty brown patch of fur on their again. They appear loads just like the cute Eurasian Purple Squirrel, besides for his or her colour.


Abert’s Squirrels are discovered within the Western United States, primarily dwelling in coniferous forests near their favourite tree, the Ponderosa Pine.


Abert’s Squirrel Vary Map

aberts squirrel range map


Ponderosa Pines play an essential function within the lifetime of Abert’s Squirrels.


The truth is, these bushes present every thing from meals to nesting to safety from predators!


Whereas these squirrels eat all kinds of meals, Ponderosa Pines are their favourite and their major diet all through the complete 12 months. In heat months, the seeds and buds are consumed. Extremely, a single squirrel can eat the seeds from as much as 75 pine cones per day!


Throughout colder months, Abert’s Squirrels eat the inside bark of the particular tree, along with twigs. In winter, on common, about 45 twigs are eaten daily!


The Ponderosa Pine supplies such a constant meals supply all year long, the Abert’s Squirrel not often shops any meals for winter. This conduct is extremely distinctive relating to squirrels!


Females will construct twig nests, which resemble giant, messy chook nests, on the branches of Ponderosa Pines. Adults will even use these shelters year-round for nightly safety. These squirrels would use a cavity, however pines not often have holes large enough for nesting functions.



Abert’s Squirrels and Ponderosa Pines go hand in hand. These pine bushes not solely present meals and nesting areas, however their interlocking canopies function safety in opposition to predators. Animals comparable to hawks, notably the Northern Goshawk, hunt these squirrels usually.


Lastly, these cute squirrels have a candy tooth!


In spring, it’s attainable to see them licking the sugary sap off the bark of Boxelder Timber, that are associated to maples.


#5. Western Grey Squirrel

western gray squirrel


Scientific Identify: Sciurus griseus

Common Size (Together with tail): 17 – 24 inches / 43 – 61 cm

Weight: 12.3 – 35 oz / 350 – 992 grams

Lifespan: Adults can reside as much as 8 years outdated.


The Western Grey Squirrel has a restricted vary and might solely be discovered on the western coast of the USA and components of Mexico. These squirrels love dwelling within the forest and are discovered at elevations as much as 8,200 toes (2,500 m).

  • You might even see this species known as the Silver-gray Squirrel, California Grey Squirrel, Oregon Grey Squirrel, Columbian Grey Squirrel, or the Banner-tail, relying on location.


Western Grey Squirrel Vary Map


Despite the fact that the Western Grey Squirrel appears to be like just like the Jap Grey Squirrel, their personalities are completely different. For instance, the western species are sometimes shy and can run up a tree when disturbed. As soon as there, they offer a hoarse chirping sound on the intruder, together with tail flicking and foot-stomping. Due to their shyness, Western Grey Squirrels sometimes don’t trouble chook feeders as a lot as different squirrel species!


These squirrels face a number of threats which have affected their inhabitants.


  • Habitat loss because of wildfires and urbanization. These creatures are inherently shy and don’t adapt as effectively to people as different squirrel species.


  • A illness referred to as Notoedric Mange, brought on by mites, could be a enormous downside for these squirrels and trigger many deaths.


  • Competitors with different squirrel species is a large risk! Populations of the extra aggressive and non-native Jap Grey Squirrels and Fox Squirrels have been launched through the years, which has been extraordinarily detrimental. The Western Grey Squirrel has needed to retreat farther and farther again into distant mountain habitats the place competitors isn’t so sturdy. Southern California, specifically, has been ravaged by the Fox Squirrel.


#6. Arizona Grey Squirrel

arizona gray squirrel


Scientific Identify: Sciurus arizonensis

Common Size (Together with tail): ~20 inches / ~50 cm

Weight: ~23 oz / ~567 grams


The Arizona Grey Squirrel has a small vary and solely lives in components of Arizona and New Mexico. These squirrels are sometimes discovered at increased elevations within the mountains. Search for them by rivers in deciduous woods close to bushes that produce their favourite meals, that are acorns, walnuts, and pine cones.


Arizona Grey Squirrel Vary Map

arizona gray squirrel range map


Apparently, the breeding exercise of those squirrels is correlated with the blooming of flowers! These mammals love feasting on flowers, and the diet and nutritional vitamins inside assist maintain the power calls for required for replica.


Not a lot is understood concerning the standing of the Arizona Grey Squirrel, as they’re shy and laborious to review as a result of they reside within the mountains. But it surely’s thought that their inhabitants has declined, due to some causes.


First, these squirrels, like most animals, have skilled habitat loss. Second, it appears they’re being out-competed by the bigger Abert’s Squirrel, because it extends its vary. Arizona Grey Squirrels will not be presently on the Endangered Species Checklist, however they might find yourself there finally.


#7. Douglas Squirrel

douglas squirrel


Scientific Identify: Tamiasciurus douglasii

Common Size (Together with tail): 13 inches / 33 cm

Weight: 5.25 to 10.5 oz / 150 – 300 grams

Lifespan: Not a lot is understood about how lengthy these squirrels reside, however their foremost predators embody feral cats, American Martens, bobcats, hawks, and owls.


The Douglas Squirrel is discovered solely within the Pacific Northwest, alongside the coast from the Sierra Mountains in California to southern British Columbia. The Douglas Squirrel and the extra widespread American Purple Squirrel are related and occupy the identical ecological area of interest. It’s uncommon to seek out these two squirrels in the identical territory, and the place one squirrel vary ends, the opposite sometimes begins.


Douglas Squirrel Vary Map

douglas squirrel range map


Apparently, this energetic squirrel adjustments its look all year long. Throughout summer time, the backs of Douglas Squirrels are grayish or virtually greenish-brown, whereas its stomach and chest are pale orange. Within the winter, the coat adjustments to develop into extra brown and grey, and the ears seem to have extra of a tufted look than they do in summer time.


Douglas Squirrels are noisy by nature!


If a predator or risk is noticed, they use a wide selection of calls to warn everybody within the forest of the upcoming hazard.


These pine squirrels primarily reside in coniferous forests because of their most well-liked food regimen of seeds from Douglas Firs, Sitka Spruces, and Shore Pine bushes. However they may also eat acorns, mushrooms, berries, and chook eggs when accessible.


Hoarders, by nature, the Douglas Squirrel, will sometimes use one location to retailer as a lot meals as attainable. Because the squirrel peels scales off of pinecones to get to the seeds, the scales begin to accumulate on the bottom. Over time, it’s widespread for big piles, generally over a number of meters huge, to kind as generations of squirrels could use the identical location. In case you discover one in every of these piles of discarded pine scales, it’s a certain signal {that a} squirrel is close by!


Apparently, generally their storage places are raided by people. These burglars want to steal inexperienced pine cones, that are then bought to nurseries who need the recent seeds to plant. Fortunately, it appears this exercise has not affected the inhabitants of Douglas Squirrels.

douglas squirrel

Lastly, search for a definite black stripe on the edges of those squirrels in summer time, which fades or goes away utterly in winter.


Flying Squirrels


Once I first heard about flying squirrels, I didn’t imagine the particular person describing them to me.

common types of flying squirrels


You see, I’m exterior loads and take delight in making an attempt to know and establish as a lot native wildlife as attainable. So after I was advised that there are small squirrels that glide from tree to tree at night time and are not often ever seen, I used to be a bit skeptical.


However after some analysis, I used to be amazed to study flying squirrels!


The truth is, these distinctive mammals are literally extremely widespread in the USA. However since these squirrels are small, nocturnal, and reside on the tops of bushes, they’re RARELY seen.


Do flying squirrels really fly?


Let’s clear up probably the most generally requested query about flying squirrels. Whereas the title implies in any other case, these creatures don’t have wings, nor can they fly. What they do have are folds of pores and skin beneath their arms, referred to as a patagium, which extends from their wrists all the best way to their ankles.


This membrane permits these squirrels to “glide” from tree to tree. So their gliding may give that impression that they’re flying.


In the USA, there are THREE flying squirrel species you possibly can observe:


#8. Northern Flying Squirrel

northern flying squirrel


Scientific Identify: Glaucomys sabrinus

Common Size (Together with tail): 9.8 – 14.6 inches / 25 – 37 cm

Weight: 3.9 – 8.1 oz  / 110 – 230 grams

Lifespan: Not a lot is understood, however plainly most people reside lower than 4 years. Owls are their foremost predator, which is smart since each species are nocturnal.


These squirrels have cinnamon or gentle brown coloured fur, with whitish fur on their stomach. You’ll discover their enormous black eyes, which assist them see at night time!


Northern Flying Squirrel Vary Map

northern flying squirrel range map


To discover a Northern Flying Squirrel, you have to to look in forests dominated by conifer bushes.


Southern Flying Squirrels, that are intently associated, want dwelling in deciduous forests. Due to this truth, these two species not often have ranges that overlap.


Whereas these nocturnal rodents eat nuts and acorns like typical diurnal tree squirrels, it’s not nearly all of their food regimen. Apparently, fungi (mushrooms) and lichens are their foremost supply of diet. Another meals which are eaten embody bugs, chook eggs, and tree sap.

In contrast to most different squirrels, Northern Flying Squirrels don’t collect and retailer a lot meals for winter. Since they don’t hibernate and are lively throughout the entire 12 months, there may be not as huge a necessity as different squirrel species to cache meals. However when temperatures do drop in winter, it’s widespread for a lot of particular person squirrels to return collectively to assist one another keep heat!


It’s uncommon to seek out these squirrels on the bottom since they’re extremely clumsy walkers. If a predator approaches, they may sometimes attempt to conceal as a substitute of run away. Most of their time is spent on the tops of bushes, gliding from department to department. Their common size of glides is between 16 – 82 toes (5 – 25 meters). I want these squirrels could possibly be seen throughout the day as a result of watching them glide these distances can be unimaginable to see!


#9. Southern Flying Squirrel

southern flying squirrel


Scientific Identify: Glaucomys volans

Common Size (Together with tail): 8.3 – 10.2 inches / 21 – 26 cm

Weight: 2- 3 oz  / 56 – 85 grams

Lifespan: On common, they reside only a few years, and it’s uncommon for a person to see the age of 5. Predators embody owls, hawks, snakes, bobcats, raccoons, foxes, and home cats.


In case you ever see one throughout daylight, you’re going to get to look at fur that’s reddish-brown or grey, whereas its stomach is cream white. Massive, black eyes take up a lot of their head, which is required to assist them see at night time. Southern Flying Squirrels are a bit smaller than their cousins, Northern Flying Squirrels.


Southern Flying Squirrel Vary Map

southern flying squirrel range map


Southern Flying Squirrels are widespread within the japanese United States.


However regardless that they’re widespread, virtually no one is aware of they exist or sees them! Like different flying squirrels, this species is nocturnal and spends most of its time within the canopies of deciduous forests.


Southern Flying Squirrels typically go to chook feeders at night time, feeding on sunflower seeds and peanuts. Fortunately, I’ve a digital camera that watches my chook feeding station, and it has unimaginable night time imaginative and prescient! Try the video beneath to see one come down from the bushes and keep for dinner. ????

If you wish to watch extra LIVE chook feeder cameras, try this publish -> 8 LIVE Fowl Feeder Cams From Across the World!

These squirrels are extraordinarily social and are sometimes noticed foraging, gliding, and resting collectively in giant teams. In winter, teams of as much as 20 animals come collectively in a single nest to preserve power and keep heat.


#10. Humboldt’s Flying Squirrel


Scientific Identify: Glaucomys oregonensis

Common Size (Together with tail): ~ 12 inches / ~ 30 cm


The Humboldt’s Flying Squirrel is definitely a brand new species! These squirrels, which reside in coniferous forests in southern British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and northern California, have been at all times considered Northern Flying Squirrels. However after intensive DNA evaluation in 2017, it was decided that these squirrels differed sufficient to be labeled as their very own separate species!


Humboldt’s Flying Squirrel Vary Map

humboldts flying squirrel range map


General, Humboldt’s and Northern Flying Squirrels look extremely related. The one distinction in look is that Humboldt’s are a bit smaller and have barely darker fur. These slight measurement and colour variations are what initially inspired scientists to run DNA assessments. To the untrained eye, it’s virtually not possible to inform them aside!


Humboldt’s Flying Squirrels are what’s known as a “cryptic species.” This implies they give the impression of being virtually similar to a different species however are thought-about completely different and might’t interbreed.


Now that we all know they’re completely different species, scientists are working laborious to determine what retains them other than each other. Do they inhabit barely completely different habitats? Are their distinctive behaviors or specialties that preserve them from competing? 


Which of those squirrels have you ever seen earlier than in the USA?


Depart a remark beneath!


Study extra about different animals discovered within the USA HERE:

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