Seven Types Of Squirrels Native To The U.S

In the US, there are over 65 different species of squirrel. The number of ground squirrel species is 24, the number of chipmunk species is 22, there are two kinds of flying squirrels, prairie dogs, marmots, and of course, tree squirrels.

Seven Types Of Squirrels Native To The U.S

Chances are, if you live in America and have a backyard, you have squirrels.

They may dig tunnels close to your foundation, raid your bird (see also: Birds That Start With Y)feeder, or build nests in your attic, but they can provide hours of amusement with their exuberant activities. 

The seven different species of squirrels listed here are ones that can be found all over North America.

Eastern Gray Squirrels

Eastern gray squirrels possess voluminous tails and a coat that looks gray from a distance and is made up of a mixture of black, brown, and white fur. 

They often have white or light gray undersides, and the flat, bushy gray tail has silver-tipped hairs.

Gray squirrels can exhibit deviations from their typical coloring as well. 

They average approximately 1.5 pounds in weight and are 16 – 20 inches long.

One of the most prevalent squirrel species in Ohio, the Midwest, and the remainder of the east of North America is the eastern gray squirrel.

 It has also been adopted in some Western regions. They can be found in suburban and urban areas as well as mixed hardwood forests.

Western Gray Squirrels

The range of the western gray squirrel is restricted to the Pacific Northwest, in contrast to the widespread eastern gray squirrel.

The western gray squirrel can be easily distinguished from the eastern gray squirrel by its steely gray coloring, somewhat bigger size, lengthier tail, and more pronounced ears.

Oak and pine trees are favorites of western gray squirrels. They might also be found in Douglas fir woods that also contain some oaks or pines. 

Western gray squirrels require a mature forest ecosystem with a strong canopy and a wide variety of flora to survive.

They consume nuts, seeds, tree buds, berries, fungus, leaves, twigs, and occasionally, the eggs and nestlings of passing birds.

Arizona Gray Squirrels

The restricted range of the Arizona grey squirrel includes portions of Arizona, New Mexico, and maybe Mexico.

Another mostly grey squirrel with paler underparts is this one.

Its bushy grey tail is accented with white-tipped hairs, and it has tall, pronounced ears without tufts.

Seven Types Of Squirrels Native To The U.S

The Arizona grey squirrel is smaller than its eastern counterparts and weighs an average of 1.25 pounds.

The Arizona grey squirrel, one of three species found in the state, inhabits deciduous forest habitats in distant mountain ranges and canyon bottoms at elevations between about 5,000 and 6,000 feet.

It prefers walnut, oak, and pine trees, especially ones that are close to a steady supply of water.

It also consumes juniper berries, fungus, and a wide range of other fruits and seeds.

Eastern Fox Squirrels 

Another (and bigger) common tree squirrel in North America, in addition to grey squirrels, is the eastern fox squirrel. 

It is one of four kinds of squirrels throughout Indiana, one of three types in Florida, and it inhabits a large range extending from the south of Canada to northern Mexico. 

On top, it has grey and black fur; on the belly, orange; and on the tail, cinnamon with black.

This huge species weighs at least 1.5 pounds and is 19 – 29 inches long.

Fox squirrels have a remarkable capacity for adaptation and prefer to live in highland hardwood forests with nut-producing trees.

They also enjoy eating agricultural products like pecans and corn.

American Red Squirrels

These squirrels, sometimes known as the pine squirrel, resemble fox squirrels in appearance.

Its belly is white, but its upper portions are a deep brown or rusty reddish grey colour. 

It has a distinct white eye ring around its eyes, and its bushy tail has a hint of white on it.

A black stripe can also be seen on the sides of some red squirrels. 

But American red squirrels, which are just 10 -15 inches in length and weigh approximately a half pound, are significantly smaller than fox squirrels.

There are four different species of squirrels in Michigan, with this one being the more northern one.

In the western and northern United States, it can be found in mixed and coniferous forests, in the Appalachians, which extend south to northern Georgia, and in the Rocky Mountains. 

Although red squirrels enjoy eating the cones and seeds of evergreen trees, they can become more omnivorous from time to time.

Southern Flying Squirrels

In two ways, flying squirrels are unusual. In the first place, they “fly.” Instead, they extend their front and back legs to compress the slack skin fold that connects the extremities, allowing them to drift from tree to tree or from the top of a tree to the ground. 

Seven Types Of Squirrels Native To The U.S

Also, they are nocturnal, in contrast to other squirrels. At 7 to 10 inches long, this squirrel is comparable in size to a chipmunk.

On top, it has thick, silky greyish brown fur, while on its belly, it has white fur. It makes a great rudder thanks to its extra-large eyes and long, flat tail.

From Canada to Texas, then on to Mexico and Central America, the southern flying squirrel’s range spans all of eastern North America.

There are just three different species of squirrel in Texas. 

Both deciduous and mixed forests with lots of old trees that contain cavities for breeding are suitable habitats for this little mammal.

They prefer hardwoods that bear seeds, such as beech, maple, hickory, and poplar. 

They regularly consume fruits, buds, seeds, tree bark, and lichen in addition to nuts.

In a pinch, they will also consume eggs, insects, and nesting birds.

Douglas Squirrels

The Douglas squirrel, sometimes known as the pine squirrel, is related to American red squirrels, and in the northern Pacific Northwest, their ranges overlap. 

The Douglas squirrel may be easily distinguished from other species despite having almost the same size because of its dark-brownish/gray top parts and red belly. 

Its native territory extends from southwestern British Columbia through western Oregon, western Washington, and northern California.

The Douglas squirrel makes the most of its small range by contentedly settling down in fir, pine, spruce, and hemlock stands from ocean level to subalpine elevations. 

Conifer seeds, fungi, seeds, flowers, berries and leaf buds are some of their favourite foods.

The tiny Douglas squirrel, like other squirrels, will break into bird nests to boost its diet.

Final Thoughts

Squirrels come in a variety of varieties, making it challenging to identify them without any aid.

Each of them has distinct traits and life spans that are mostly affected by their environment (wild or in captivity) and species.

Hopefully this article has helped you learn about the most well-known types of squirrels in the U.S.

Olivia Kepner