Talk:Eastern gray squirrel

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Photo, links.[edit]

I've changed the picture on this page, because the one we had looked more like a Fox Squirrel. I have also removed a whole lot of links, that were either unnecessary or frankly unhelpful - I think it's overdoing things to link from a page like this to the forks of trees or the exterior walls of homes. seglea 04:16, 4 May 2004 (UTC)

Reduction in reds.[edit]

"At the turn of the 20th century it was introduced into South Africa and England, spreading across the latter and leading to a reduction in the population of the native Red Squirrel in most parts of England and Wales."

This has always bugged me. How did grey squirrels manage to get rid of most of the red ones? Or is this just a misconception? -- Smjg 12:21, 25 Jun 2004 (UTC)

No, It's very likely to be the true scenario. It seems it's mostly due to competition for resources, with the larger, stronger greys winning a larger share of the available food. Also in there is a bit of biological warfare - the greys are more resistant to a disease that kills many reds (the greys are carriers) and a bit of adaptability on the part of the greys - reds simply aren’t as at home in the city parks the greys thrive in - so habitation loss hits the reds harder.
http://www.wildlifetrust.org.uk/durham/RedAlert/RedAlert.html gives quite a good summary of all this. -- sannse (talk) 19:12, 25 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Just looked at it. But it still amazes me how one little species, of which there can't have been millions to start with, can have managed to virtually wipe out another, closely related species. I suppose that, if only there were sufficient food and habitats that appeal to only the red ones, the two could happily coexist. And if only someone set up an anti-parapox immunisation programme.... -- Smjg 17:20, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Because they are American squirrels, and as we all know everything American is far superior to its European counterparts. 137.21.66.141 19:53, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
If you have access to the technical biological literature, look up research papers by the Belgian ecologist L. A. Wauters, who has documented in depressing detail the impact of the greys on the red squirrels' fitness, in both Britain and Italy. I'll add an example reference to the page in a tick. seglea 19:41, 28 Jun 2004 (UTC)

>> Should we include the "Introduced" Regions now? As it is all over the UK and Europe. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.19.168.77 (talk) 17:21, 7 December 2010 (UTC) >> Hi, I just want to comment about this because I've been following it for sometime. Unfortunately, I'm away and I don't have any of the references. The idea that the greys out compete the reds is fallacious in my estimation - and I have been following both species for some 25 years now. It is the infection which is the primary problem - the greys brought the illness, which the reds have no resistance to. The reds survive in good numbers where the disease did not reach, such as the Isle of Wight (where I grew up). There are several reasons why I doubt that overcompetition is a major factor in the greys beating out the reds, chiefly:

1. The habitat and hence diet of the two species differ. The red squirrels primary habitat is coniferous forests; they eat the seeds of pine cones. Grey squirrels rarely if ever each pine seeds, preferring the seeds of broadleaved trees, as as the acorn. (The greys also occupy cities, of course, which the reds avoid). 2. Although the red squirrel and the American red squirrel are different species, in forests in Canada both the American red squirrel and the grey squirrel co-exist quite comfortably - chiefly for the reason mentioned in (1) above 3. In Scotland, they have managed to provide the grey's immunity to the relevant infection to the local population of red squirrels. Result? Both species coexist, and red squirrel populations are on the rise again.

Perhaps gray squirrels don't eat pine seeds in the U.K., but I assure you they do here in northeast Florida. I have a loblolly pine and the varmints consider it a delicatessen.Almost no cones are allowed to mature due to these destructive pests.And indeed, there are only two pine trees left in the immediate area. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.82.125.29 (talk) 14:22, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

I haven't read the sociobiology paper quoted, but I am somewhat doubtful of its conclusions. It is certainly possible that there is direct competition between the species in places where greys and reds coexist but it is highly unlikely that this is the key factor in their forcing out the red squirrels given the issues raised above.

At the very least I suggest rewriting this piece to upgrade the importance of the infection and downgrade the importance of inter-species competition, which I consider to be highly speculative, and quite possibly skewed by prior assumptions.

Anyway, I don't really know how this aspect of the Wikipedia works but as I am starting to realise that I am close to being an expert on squirrels (which is odd, because professionally I am a game designer!) and therefore I wanted to contribute some perspective.

Do with this information as you will - discard it if you wish. Best wishes! (CMB) <<


Hello again! I wish to continue to push that the infection carried by the greys is a bigger factor than overall "fitness". I acknowledge that the evidence for the competition for resources has shored up quite considerably, and also I have confirmed that greys will eat pine nuts (although still suspect reds are better adapted for this) - but I wish to provide this link from the BBC as further evidence in my claim that the disease is as much or more of a factor in the decline of the red in the British Isles, thus: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/highlands_and_islands/7364769.stm

Best wishes! (CMB) [[[Special:Contributions/67.187.96.11|67.187.96.11]] (talk) 13:44, 30 April 2008 (UTC)]


Back once more... I found this webpage: http://www.grey-squirrel.org.uk/reds.php which supports my claim that greys are very unlikely to outcompete red squirrels in pine forests, but contradicts my claim that the parapox virus is a factor. I'll be investigating this further, but if what is being said here is validated it means I am correct about the point I was uncertain about (that grey squirrels don't outcompete reds in the red's native environment, only in deciduous and mixed forests - i.e. in the grey's own environment) but in error about the thing I was most certain about (that the parapox was a major factor).

One thing is certain, this issue remains both complex and controversial, just as the wikipedia page says. :) Thanks for your patience with my sideways contributions, and best wishes! (CMB) [[[Special:Contributions/71.196.177.117|71.196.177.117]] (talk) 02:59, 25 May 2008 (UTC)]


Albino (white) squirrels are also fairly common in Westerville, Ohio (a suburb of Columbus), especially on the campus of Otterbein University in Westerville.


Me again (CMB). I really think the case for squirrel pox is now stronger than the case for competition and you should consider rewriting this part of the article. Really, it's just the one study that claims the competitive advantage - all the other material highlights the pox. Here's the latest:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7652154.stm

I'll keep bringing you the data as I spot it. Cheers! (CMB) 86.10.191.54 (talk) 09:03, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

And again (CMB). Here's the new link:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8283000/8283736.stm

[[93.97.31.222 (talk) 10:38, 1 October 2009 (UTC)]

In my opinion the main reasons for the Grays replacing the red (leaving aside the pox), are the fact that 99% of the time a Gray squirrel will survive an encounter with a domestic cat and a red squirrels chances are much less. There are millions of cats in the UK, and dogs leaving aside all the natural predators like birds of prey. When you consider how much of Britain is urbanised and deforested the Gray also has an advantage in that it doesn't hibernate and can each a much wider range of food. It can also live almost anywhere, whereas the reds are less adaptable. When you consider all these things in conjunction the red squirrel had no chance. Even if the Gray had never arrived, they would be in terminal decline as a species. Maybe now after 20 generations of UK Gray squirrels, they can stop being treated as a pest in areas where the Red/Gray war has long since been over. How long does a species have to wait before they can be considered natural? Perhaps it's time we British stopped blaming the Gray squirrel for the fall of the Great British Empire. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 77.102.217.183 (talk) 18:38, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Michigan.[edit]

hi i have a vacation house in pullman michigan usa, and i have seen gray, black and red squirrels, all apparently similar to the eastern gray squirrel. also it was suggested to me that much of the squirrel poluation of europe was killed by starving people in WW2. thanks!

Chicago area.[edit]

I've seen black squirrels as far north as Mount Prospect, and as far west as two miles west of the Fox River.

Red Eurasian, songbirds.[edit]

The Wikipedia article on the Red Eurasian Squirrel suggests that a factor favouring the grey in competition with the red in places where the grey has been introduced is the ability of the grey to easily digest acorns, something the reds lack.

Reports in the UK press (24/05/06) suggest that the Grey Squirrel is a factor in the decline of songbirds through predation. These seem to originate from a UK chaity called Songbird Survival whose website suggest that greys eat bird's eggs and fledglings (see http://www.songbird-survival.org.uk/squirrels.html?link=predators).

It would be useful if the Eastern Gray Squirrel entry could clarify these assertions by having a paragraph on diet.—Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.168.69.241 (talkcontribs) 2006-05-29t10:27:29z

Spelling[edit]

An anon. has been through changing "Gray" to "Grey" in the name of the animal throughout. Since the species originates in the US (mainly), standard practice is that it should have US spelling (except when referring to its name in Europe, which is clearly "Grey Squirrel" - it doesn't get the "Eastern" either). However it may be that for some historical reason the usual spelling in the US is in fact "Grey" - can an American with access to authoritative local sources comment please? thanks. seglea 17:07, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Just one more example of the problems using common names as synonyms - If we simply used the binmomial name it would solve so many problems here and elsewhere ! However, for what it is worth (and probably not much) Google gives 1.15 million hits for Eastern Gray Squirrel and 1.22 million for Eastern Grey Squirrel. Given that a number of those hits probably come from European and British sites, it looks as if it is about even between Gray and Grey. Interstingly the split does seem to have no logic, with a site in Mitchigan using Grey [1] and a site in Virginia using Gray [2] . It is isn't helped by the inconcistenecy between this articles title and its text. As it is an American species, I would be content with a consensus view from the American side of the argument as long as the specific references in the text to the issues in the UK can continue to simply call it the Grey squirrel. Mrs Trellis 13:20, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
I use "gray", and consider it the normal US spelling. "Grey" sounds very British to me. --Blah2 01:58, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
Grey doesn't sound British to Canadians Pendragon39 22:04, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm reverting to gray. If someone wants to open a name change proposal they should do so, but it simply looks like bad editing to have two different spellings of the same word in one article. DurovaCharge! 22:25, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
A name change isn't necessary as long as references to this species in Canada and the UK are kept as they are: Grey Pendragon39 00:49, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

It's probably simpler and more sensible all round to have one spelling throughout, but I have to say this makes for a very odd sentence: "In the United Kingdom, the animal is known simply as the gray squirrel and it has few natural predators." Harry R (talk) 09:47, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

I have reverted spelling in the British section to 'grey'. There are some external refs for which the original spelling is 'grey' so I have corrected those also. --Graminophile (talk) 16:08, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Agree with those who have tried before to change spelling where appropriate to ´grey´. US editors may like to consider whether it would be ok for me to write an article about the ´aluminium industry in America´. It wouldnt be and you would be right to change it.Jabberwock359 (talk) 20:38, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

I've reverted your edits, articles need to use one spelling throughout. Really something should be said about the spelling differences either in the lead, or in the British section. Jack (talk) 17:17, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Articles may be 'best' if they can have one spelling, I agree. However the WP MoS says there are exceptions to this eg: "titles (the original spelling is used, for example United States Department of Defense and Australian Defence Force)" Therefore, at the very least the section referring to the 'grays' (sic) of Britain and how they displaced the red squirrel needs to be changed to the usage in the country being referred to. The title of the article is fine as 'Eastern Gray' on the basis that it originated there, but it makes no sense to have a picture entitled 'An Eastern Gray Sqirrel in St James's Park, London, as only American visitors to that Park would know them as such. To see the point, just imagine the photo of the 'Drey of an Eastern Gray Squirrel' being changed to 'Drey of a Grey Squirrel in Spokane Washington'. Thats how daft it looks. I wont change it back (not right away, anyway!) But I invite refutations (if there are any) to the logical statements I've made. ThanksJabberwock359 (talk) 20:16, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

By the way the London photo when you click on it is called 'Grey Squirrel close up' !!! Seems the original photographer knew the correct local terminology! Po' liddle crittur gawt renamed goin' across the pawnd Jabberwock359 (talk) 20:33, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

I understand and sympathise, being a Brit myself, but the species name is Eastern Gray Squirrel (according to our mammal reference text MSW3) so that's what we should use. I've removed any location information from the photos, as the information is irrelevant. Jack (talk) 21:06, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

The section on the displacement of the red squirrel ends by saying that 'the Eastern Gray Squirrel, under the Wildlife and countryside Act 1981...' - there is no Eastern Gray Squirrel mentioned in the Act. Have a look if you like: [1] If you're going to make sweeping changes, check that it works throughout the article. The statement on the Wildlife act is simply wrong. If you want the piece on grey vs red squirrels to read 'Eastern Gray' all the way through then there needs to be something much earlier on in the piece to say 'Eastern Grey is used throughout this article for consistency, even when referring to the 'Grey Squirrel' of the UK.'otherwise readers in the UK will simply be baffled. You would still have to change the Reference to the Wildlife act though, as its factually wrong. Thanks (BTW you say 'according to OUR mammal reference text' which turns out to be American. That presumably means the reference text 'decreed' by Wikipedia. Hmmm.. wonder why that one got chosen)Jabberwock359 (talk) 23:05, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

In the etymology section I wrote: "In the United Kingdom and Canada, it is simply referred to as the Grey Squirrel; as the species is a native of the United States, this article will only use the term Eastern Gray Squirrel." As for the mention of the Wildlife and Countryside Act; Eastern Gray Squirrel = Sciurus carolinensis = Grey Squirrel, therefore no factual inaccuracies. If I had used a British encyclopaedia to write a description of the species I wouldn't have written Grey Squirrel, I would have remained consistent.
"Our" is Wikipedia:WikiProject Mammals; the text, has been selected by our consensus (we all are Wikipedia) as a concise, up-to-date and comprehensive guide of mammals. Hope you understand why these decisions have to be made. Jack (talk) 01:12, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

OK, fair enough. But the sentence by with the Wildlife act still had to be changed. Why? Because its possible for a reader to find the page, scroll down to the contents (without reading that Eastern Gray = Grey) and go directly to 'displacement of red squirrels' (highly likely if this was a UK reader, keen to look up this well known topic in this country). He/she would then see that the Wildlife act only forbids the release of the Eastern Grey (apparently). If he/she had a "grey sqirrel" in a trap, they would feel fine about releasing it. Sorry to spell it out, but Wikipedia needs to not give misleading information about the law. I have slightly adjusted the etymology section to correspond (removed 'only'). Would be grateful if these very minor changes to the overall consistency of the article could be left and not reverted, thanks. Jabberwock359 (talk) 19:15, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

I received a classical English education, and it's my understanding that "grey" and "gray" have been inter-changeable for some decades in the UK. If there is overall consensus that because the first UK Grays, were from the US that the classic US spelling of the word should be used i.e. "Gray". Rather than the modern spelling "Grey" which, in my understanding is now the more common in both the US and the UK. Then I feel that is the way to go across the board, to simplify the situation. Effectively "Eastern Gray", is the 'more correct' in either the US or the UK, but "Eastern Grey" is also acceptable, even within academia.

Spelling revisited[edit]

Appeals to the reference text MSW3 are not consistent with Wikipedia style, because the American Society of Mammalogists Style Guide mandates American spellings over international and local usage, in direct contravention to Wikipedia policy. The MoS has ruled on this in the previously cited exception to consistent nomenclature, when in matters where a given name owes particular allegiance to one national variety of English over another, that variety will be given preference. Furthermore, the claim that “Eastern Gray Squirrels” are resident in UK and Canada is demonstrably false except when viewed from the American position, which therefore hinders global relevance and violates WP:NPOV.
In the interest of compromise, I support the appeal to MSW3 for the article title, lead paragraph and infobox, because (I assume) there are more of these tree rats in the United States than in Canada, so it’s in accord with WP:TIE. As for the body text, if we limit single usage to sections (except in marked quotations where the spelling difference is explicitly mentioned ) we should strike an amicable balance between both spellings. To that end, I have edited the section dealing with Grey Squirrels resident in the UK, as well as the caption to the photo taken in Ottawa, Ontario.
I should add that this is not a naming issue. This is a spelling issue, and therefore outside the jurisdiction of the WikiProject:Mammals. We are all agreed that the proper name of the animal is the “Eastern Gr_y Squirrel”, as opposed to “Pine Monkey” or “Garbage Gerbil” — the only debate here is which national variety of English that proper name should be rendered in. The aforementioned Wikipedia conventions on these matters are given here and here. — Muckapedia 19:11, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
I agree that we should not necessarily follow MSW 3. The relevant guideline, WP:ENGVAR, states that articles should generally follow the spelling of the earliest major contributor and be consistent within articles (none of the exceptions apply here). This article has used "eastern gray squirrel" from its earliest revision, and it should continue to do so. Ucucha 19:16, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
Except that the name “Eastern Gray Squirrel” is exactly that — a nomenclature — and therefore covered under the second exception to the Consistent Usage provision. — Muckapedia 19:39, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
That is not what that section intends to cover. It's the same species in the Canada, US, and UK, called the (eastern) grey or gray squirrel, and this article should use one of these. Using "gray" for Canadian Sciurus carolinensis is not like changing "United States Department of Defense" to "... Defence", which is what the exception intends to prevent. Ucucha 19:46, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
I'm moving this article to [[Grey Squirrel]]. Rule Canadia! -Justin (talk) 23:28, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
Most of this squirrel's range is in the U.S. The first major contributor wrote in U.S. English. Keep the American English spelling. (And tone down the Wikilawyering.) Darkfrog24 (talk) 13:42, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Sure, but it wouldn’t take much rewording of the final paragraph and photo-caption to accommodate this change, and in the process you’d be improving the article. I get that the American editors are loathe to do this, because they feel it wouldn’t be worth the loss in consistency. But to a UK/Canadian/Australian reader it would be worth it — so why not incorporate the spelling difference but limit it only to the relevant sections and media (which presently number two). Are you saying a change like the one I'm proposing would be impossible to implement without making the article confusing?— Muckapedia (talk) 31e mars 2010 16h06 (−4h)

Whoa! GrAy with an 'A' thats ridiculous. I'm American and even I use "grey"! 68.222.48.213 (talk) 21:44, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Capital letters?[edit]

I don't think the use of capital letters in the name of the article, as well as throughout the content, of the name of the animal ("Eastern Gray Squirrel" instead of "eastern gray squirrel"), is right. The only thing that makes me doubt my own belief (of the capitalisation here being a case of ignorant spelling) is a high degree of usage consistency throughout the article. I'm leaving it to the attention of more competent people.
6birc (talk) 22:42, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

It is Wikipedia's policy to capitalize species names, but I agree that it looks awkward and silly. I would have no objection to referring to them as "gray squirrels" in the article body text (but the first instance in the lead should stay capitalized). Darkfrog24 (talk) 13:40, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
It is not, in fact, and the relevant WikiProject prefers sentence case (WP:RODENT#Guidelines). I will move this article. Ucucha 14:01, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
I completely agree with the capitalization change of the title to Eastern gray squirrel. Thank you Ucucha. It is now consistent with Wikipedia style on that as I understand it. However, the capitalization of the name throughout the article now needs to be changed to make it consistent with the title. And let me add a whole lot of the miscellaneous name issues that this article's discussion section has covered would have been eliminated if Wikipedia articles used the binomial names as I think they should.

--Davefoc (talk) 18:03, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Black squirrels[edit]

Without objections, I'm going to add Princeton University to list of places noted for large numbers of black squirrels (they're pretty well known here - they even mention the squirrels in the university tour!) BethEnd 21:32, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

I just added Ottawa, Ontario, to list of locations with melanistic colonies, as well. Esseh 04:36, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Calgary Alberta has thousands of these all over the city.Twhanna 21:59, 29 August 2007 (UTC)[[3]]

New pictures[edit]

Use them if you want.

Image:Sciurus carolinensis 1.jpg
Image:Sciurus carolinensis 2.jpg
Image:Sciurus carolinensis 3.jpg

Good lord those are beautiful pics. I live in Spokane WA, USA and I'm trying to determine whether the one living in my yard is an Eastern, a Western, or a Douglas. The pictures I've taken of it very clear, and I'm probably about 50% sure its not a Western. (it seems to have more color, like an orange tint on the belly, but this is out of my own hazy recollection- Also, I'm told Westerns are nearly extinct in this area) I'm trying to research some definative differences, but does anyone have any quick ideas?--Arkcana 19:20, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

Quick response: easterns have fluffier tails and are more tolerant of humans. Put a few peanuts into your hand and sit very still for about five minutes. If the squirrel is bold enough to take the food it's almost certainlly a gray. DurovaCharge! 22:29, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
This is not remotely encyclopedic, but one of our cats carefully carried a dehydrated young squirrel, who was small but had fur and eyes open, to my housemate. She treated him like one of her kittens. When wildlife rehabilitators in our area had no space, my housemate, who really does have rehab experience, and not being willing to euthanize him, decided to foster him. He has grown greatly, and, although we'll see in adulthood, tolerates humans very well. After weaning, he started enjoying a wider range of foods. On his first exposure to acorns, however, we have concluded they have a squirrel equivalent of methamphetamine.
At least six of our cats are utterly fascinated by him, with no signs of predatory interest. They sit near his enclosure and watch him move, rather like spectators at Wimbleton, but politely mystified. While we had tried to avoid it, a couple of the cats did get up to the edge of his enclosure, and the two species touched noses, making species-specific noises. His now having no fear of cats may prevent full release, although we plan on an even larger indoor-outdoor enclosure. Howard C. Berkowitz 19:11, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Predators[edit]

Should domestic cats be added to the list of predators? 87.113.53.89 13:39, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Can you verify that domestic cats actually eat the things?--Marhawkman 11:26, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
I am a licensed wildlife rehabilitator and have worked with gray squirrels for decades. Domestic cats do indeed kill and eat these animals. I see dozens every year that were rescued from cats and have personally witnessed neighborhood cats taking these animals on several occasions.CharmsDad (talk) 04:14, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

My cats have brought full grown grey squirrels up to the porch. I have also seen them catch and eat them. I used to have a picture but i seemed to have misplaced it.

How can their predators include domestic cats and owls and yet at the same time have no natural predators in the UK? Either there are no domestic cats or owls in the UK; domestic cats and owls are not their natural predators; or they do have natural predators in the UK. Which is it? 193.130.154.29 08:40, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

would this count as proof that cats are predators? http://www.flickr.com/photos/shotage/1552013372/ --Marhawkman 12:25, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
You're correct -- it's sort of a bizarre statement. Strangely enough (and perhaps this indicates my own bizarre nature), I understand fully what is meant by it. Natural predators is often used as a sort of shorthand for saying "predators co-adapted to the species within their native range". I think it would be a stretch to call domestic cats natural predators of grey squirrels although they are, without question, predators. There probably is a cat species (bobcat?) or two (lynx?) within the species' native range that are co-adapted. Owls are a darn good question. I don't know enough about owls to know whether there exists in the UK a species of owl that also exists in the grey squirrel's native range. (It wouldn't surprise me if there were.) The sentence, as it is written, has a specific meaning to an ecologist. That does not make it, however, factually correct. Nor does it mean that the article should be written solely to be understood by ecologists. — Dave (Talk | contribs) 14:52, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Well the picture is specific to the problem of Grays in Britain. The cat in the picture lives in Wales(it's not mine so I'm not 100% sure). It seems to like reducing their population. Britain seems to have been so heavily urbanized that natural predators as a whole are largely extinct. Thus leaving domesticated predators as the only ones. There's certainly a lacking in natural predators in much of the gray range in the US, but it's not completely lacking. Then again in this case, as you mentioned, there are no natural predators in Britain, since the gray isn't native to Britain at all. --Marhawkman 17:06, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
well, the feral domestic cat might be considered a "natural predator"; there also exist a remnant population of European wildcats in britain, but undoubtedly they're too rare to have an impact on any squirrel populations. there have been many reports over the past couple of years on a (new?) breeding pop of Eurasian eagle owls. doesn't the u.k. have common buzzards? i'm sure they prey on many many rodents of all types. - Metanoid (talk, email) 17:03, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps it's correct to say that they have no natural predators, not because domestic cats (nor anything else) aren't natural, but because the squirrels themselves are not natural :-) Irrespective of the semantic definition of natural, I would be astonished if foxes don't take grey [sic] squirrels - stoat, pine marten, mink and numerous birds of prey as well. Dogs are well known to take them in parks - I've witnessed that myself. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 87.80.9.63 (talk) 18:28, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Although cats can be considered predators, the vast majority of domestic cats are not capable of catching one. If they do it's often a close enough fight that the cat thinks better of it. I have personally witnessed 200-300 encounters between various domestic cats and squirrels. Perhaps 4 or 5 times the cat clawed some fur off the squirrels tail but every squirrel survived. Owls and other birds of prey such as falcons and goshawks are possibly the biggest threat to a squirrel's life in the UK. Athletic breeds of dog are also a big threat. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 77.102.217.183 (talk) 10:17, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, but I have personally witnessed several occasions when neighborhood cats have taken gray squirrels. A cat's normal hunting success rate is roughly 20%, so missing in 4 out of 5 instances is absolutely within the norms. I am a licensed wildlife rehabilitator and get quite a few of gray squirrels every year that were rescued from cats. There is absolutely no doubt that domestic cats (an introduced species) view gray squirrels as a potential prey and behave accordingly.CharmsDad (talk) 04:20, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

I added this to the main article but it was removed due to lack of a reference. I don't read about squirrels I film them so what to do? I think most squirrel-experts instinctively know this to be true. I'm just not sure it's ever been written down anywhere. Here is the now removed paragraph "When chased closely by a predator, squirrels run in zig-zags. Each time they change direction they flick their tails the opposite way, effectively "selling a dummy" to coin a well-understood sporting phrase. Sending the would be predator off at a tangent each direction-change, losing them ground. The tail is also deceptively thin, making it very had for a predator to get hold of. These two qualities make a squirrel's tail an excellent defence against most predators." I really think it explains why a squirrel has such a dramatic looking tail. Which is the main thing I wanted to know about them as a child. I'll admit I don't like the phrase "selling a dummy", but if someone could clean it or help somehow.

This article claims that gray squirrels will "mob" a predator. While this behavior has been observed in several squirrel species, particularly ground squirrels, it is not something that has been observed or demonstrated in the gray squirrel.CharmsDad (talk) 21:15, 14 October 2012 (UTC)

I believe you are correct. I think this was added as an unreferenced addition some time ago and the quoited reference actually refers to the predator list. I will change it.Orenburg1 (talk) 17:50, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

grey squirrels that have red hair?[edit]

First off I'm no expert, I just really like squirrels but this has been puzzling me for a while. I have observed a number of squirrels in London (Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens maybe also Brompton Cemetry Park) with rather red hair. I know they must be grey squirrels: red squirrels in the UK are limited to the islands and up north, and also by their diet (they eat most things unless they smell peanuts on you!) I also know that white (albino greys) and black squirrels are technically grey squirrels by classification. Does anyone know about greys that look red? 141.2.215.190 15:17, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Here in the US there are color variations in the gray squirrel from white to redish to gray to brown to black. It's not unusual for one to be colored very similar to a red squirrel, though other characteristics are different between the various squirrel species.CharmsDad (talk) 06:26, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Based on my observations and descriptions of various squirrel species articles on Wikipedia, the gray squirrel is not completely gray, as the Delmarva fox squirrel seems more close to a "pure" coloration. The gray squirrel is quite red, especially on top, on the face, and sometimes in the tail. I wouldn't assume that a species couldn't appear somewhere - wildlife migrates erratically especially under human influence - however a fox squirrel would be easy to recognize and differentiate from a gray squirrel. --71.231.39.153 (talk) 21:05, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

I have also seen some Eastern Gray squirrels in the UK which are strikingly red. I have also seen a genuine red squirrel and know the difference. But it does seem that some Eastern Gray Squirrels in the UK are more red than grey in reality. This is more likely to be from natural adaptation to the environment (via natural selection due to better camouflage against leaves and bark) than interbreeding with red squirrels. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 77.102.217.183 (talk) 18:00, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

living in the attic[edit]

i have a aquirrel living in my attic. there are two ways he gets in and out and i fear he might have some babies in there. any suggestions on what to do if anything. i would like it gone.

In the UK it's illegal to remove a breeding animal without permission from the council in many jurisdictions, even common mammals like Eastern Grey/Grays. In the US it's apparently determined by state law. Phone up your local authority and ask them. If they can't tell you then I would advise hiring pest control to destroy the Squirrel's Nest, as in the UK they can be legally considered pests in many situations, and in the US if it's bothering you, it's a pest ;). [Drey] JavaJawaUK 18:01, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
I don't know the UK laws (though this IS a non native introduced species in that country), but in the US the laws do vary considerably by state. If you are in the US I would contact your state's wildlife office for the regulations and requirements for removing the animals. Note that is essential to find out where the animal is getting in and seal up the area after the little squirrel has been removed, otherwise you'll just continue to have a problem.CharmsDad (talk) 06:32, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

Edit war over the low-pitched sound[edit]

I'm mildly amused by a succession of edits trying to reproduce what appears to be the squirrel version of a purr -- a contented or possibly affectionate sound to a human on whom a young squirrel imprinted. It sounds like "urk urk urk" to me. Would a recording of Waffles be a primary or secondary source, or would he be accused of OR? Howard C. Berkowitz 21:51, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

Well.... trying to interpret the sound's meaning would be OR. Adding a recording of the sound along with a referenced source for interpretation is cool.--Marhawkman 21:32, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
I shall inquire, of Waffles, if he can recommend a source for interpretation. Just for the record, he is an Eastern Gray Squirrel, who probably thinks he's a cat. Howard C. Berkowitz 22:40, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Best food to attract squirrels[edit]

I hunt e.g. squirrels. what are the best plants to plant to attract e.g. squirrels?Redneckhb1 23:51, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

Depends I think, sunflower seeds attract one near my home (nuts are probably more likely to be collected in winter for storage), so I think the season needs to be kept in mind. --71.231.39.153 (talk) 21:06, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

In my experience in the UK Eastern Gray squirrels have the following preference for food. 1/ Shelled walnuts, 2/ Shelled hazelnuts 3/ Shelled peanuts 4/ Shelled almonds (probably because the shell is is tough). Any sort of food which doesn't have the shell is very much secondary to the stuff with the shell still on. Sunflower seeds, either black or the larger striped seeds (squirrel's prefer the striped ones) is very much secondary to shelled nuts or even unshelled (but never salted). My squirrels practically dance with glee when they get walnuts in the shell. They don't grow here naturally, and a walnut is bigger than anything that grows naturally except maybe a very large chestnut so my squirrels must think they're amazing. But I'd rather you didn't hunt things you aren't going to eat. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 77.102.217.183 (talk) 19:34, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

Historical range versus modern/actual range[edit]

So there are reports of people seeing these in places much farther away from what is listed in the article (i.e. west coast of the U.S. - Washington). How do we deal with this? --71.231.39.153 (talk) 21:12, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

isolated reports do not require mention. If the Department of Wildlife in a state has stated that they live there, then that may be worthwhile.--Marhawkman (talk) 11:57, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
There's also a chance that amateur reports misidentified the western gray squirrel. DurovaCharge! 16:19, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Squirrel soup vs. fertilizer[edit]

Obviusly an ecologically friendly person, such as myself, cannot in good conscience endorse extermination as a means of population control, but soup? Soup is both tasty and a good way to reduce the population. (insert smiley with fork and spoon) It helps control populations, thus leading to longer healthier lives for the squirrels (at least the ones you don't eat). It also really tasty. (insert drooling smiley here)

Any ideas on whether we could work this into the article? I'm only halfway joking.--Marhawkman (talk) 10:06, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Yet another classic idea that oh so many people would oppose. I doubt that we would be able to get it into an encyclopedia without an article to back it. So there is the option of writing one, if you have a newspaper that would publish it. I wonder if there is a squirrel trapping season that you could get a license for. Hmmmmm.... --Cynops3 (talk) 14:41, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
There is something already in the article that heads in this general direction. Some guys in Britain tried to get the public to think of squirrels as food. It seems that only cats took their advice though.

Here's an article on the recent popularity of squirrel meat: http://lifeandhealth.guardian.co.uk/food/story/0,,2279357,00.html —Preceding unsigned comment added by Augerik (talkcontribs) 20:14, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Massachusetts (and I'll bet most US states) have active squirrel hunting seasons: http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/regulations/plain_language/hunting_squirrels.htm —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.62.225.160 (talk) 02:36, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

I don't know of anywhere that actually has licences for squirrel hunting. in the woods no one cares, and you typically aren't allowed to shoot things in the city. thus leaving live traps as the only capture means in cities.--Marhawkman (talk) 19:06, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

In some rural areas of the eastern United States people occasionally hunt squrrels, I've heard. You'd need a cite for that and I don't have one. They don't have much meat on them and aren't a popular game species. DurovaCharge! 19:23, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
That's why you cook 'em to make soup. :p You skin, and clean them, then toss 'em in a pot to cook takes the work out of removing the meat from the bones. They're not a popular game species as there's little risk involved in hunting them, and little difficulty. They can't really hurt you, and you don't have to stalk them for hours.--Marhawkman (talk) 22:13, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Recipes are outside Wikipedia's scope. DurovaCharge! 17:09, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
What about adding a link to an outside source?--Marhawkman (talk) 13:46, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Try Wikibooks. DurovaCharge! 03:21, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

Proposing new pic for infobox[edit]

current
proposed

The angle of the current pic is a little weird. The proposed pic looks brighter/more crisp and gives a better view of the tail. The left side could be cropped to give more focus on the squirrel. --220.255.7.245 (talk) 03:26, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

I like the lighting on the old one better. The new one is too bright.--Marhawkman (talk) 07:24, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

The new one looks like a pregnant female. It's impossible to tell for sure, but that is one wide squirrel. I've seen one or two of mine get that large and disappear for a week or so. A few weeks later they turn up with babies in tow. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 77.102.217.183 (talk) 21:55, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

Distribution[edit]

Something needs to be done with this section. It currently says: "The eastern gray squirrel is common throughout most of its natural range and wherever it has been introduced." What kind of shit is that? That doesn't tell you a single thing about their distribution. It basically says "they can be found wherever they live". (14 April 2008)

Some species are only rarely encountered. regardless of where in their range you look. grey squirrels are very common in their range.--Marhawkman (talk) 10:40, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
Okay I've included range information in the distribution section. Jack (talk) 21:19, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Image in taxobox[edit]

Image:Eastern Gray Squirrel.JPG appears to be a fox squirrel. It should not be restored to the taxobox. --Aranae (talk) 01:54, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Ah, Edit it to fix the title. :)--Marhawkman (talk) 10:24, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

area occupied[edit]

I don't know the technical name for this concept (it's apparently NOT "range"...) but how much land area does one gray squirrel occupy? And how many gray squirrels co-occupy a given land area? That is, are the ones in my yard covering the whole neighborhood, and how many are in the whole neighborhood, approximately?

You're apparently thinking of "territory." Gray squirrels do not appear to protect a particularly area nor is the size of the area covered by individual animals absolute. The number of individual animals in a particular area depends on available resources such as food and available nesting space and the number and type of predators present. You can have over 20 in one back yard or just a handful in an entire neighborhood. Squirrels of all types are quite social animals, though the social structure and hierarchy tends to be rather loosely defined. On the other hand, an unfamiliar animal simply released into an area will often be driven off or even killed by those native to a space.CharmsDad (talk) 04:31, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

Too many pictures[edit]

There are too many pictures. It is causing a gap in text as well. There really doesn't need to be this many pictures. Some should be removed. Virek (talk) 12:10, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

I fixed the format problem. The issue isn't really how many pics there are as much as the way people keep putting them in.--Marhawkman (talk) 11:17, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
I've cut down the pictures from an unruly 20 to a more manageable 7 including some added from flickr. There really doesn't need to be a gallery, the only thing that I should maybe have left is the white albinistic form. Jack (talk) 21:13, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Eastern vs. Western Gray Squirrels[edit]

It seems to be very difficult to distinguish these species.

I took this picture. I thought at first it was a california ground squirrel and then realized because of its appearance and location it must be a western gray squirrel. Now I see that eastern gray squirrels (S. carolinensis) has been introduced into San Francisco and looks very similar. So now I'm not sure. Could anybody offer some help with the identification.

golden gate park, San Francisco, CA

I was editing the wiki commons gallery on western gray squirrels and noticed what I thought were several California ground squirrels in the gallery. Now I wonder if there might be more misidentified images there than I thought.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Western_Gray_Squirrel

At this time I am leaning to the idea that the picture I took is a western gray squirrel because it doesn't have any of the red that seems to be common in the eastern species. Does anybody have some thoughts about that? How is it known that there isn't any interbreeding between the two species? Davefoc (talk) 20:47, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

I can't tell you. although the information I have suggests that they taste the same. So you can't really use that for identification either.--Marhawkman (talk) 12:31, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Western gray. Similar to the eastern gray but without the fullness in the tail. DurovaCharge! 11:44, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

The easiest way to tell the two species apart is to watch how they behave. The Eastern Gray is much more bold, aggressive with other squirrels and other food competitors such as birds. They are less afraid of humans and are far more likely to invade and nest in urban environments. They steal from each other, and fight constantly over territory. The Western Gray in comparison is much more timid, far less aggressive and generally stay away from humans and urban environments. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 77.102.217.183 (talk) 18:16, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Dimensions[edit]

It would be handy if the article mentioned the size of a typical adult squirrel somewhere near the top. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 87.80.9.63 (talk) 18:31, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

In the UK they are typically 23-30 cm tall with a weight of 400-600g, but some alpha females in favourable predator-less environments can reach 34 cm tall and 1 kg in weight in early winter. I've filmed maybe 50 personally, but there was this 1 huge one, a similar size to the cats that chase the other normal sized ones. I've heard of other usually large urban squirrels elsewhere. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 77.102.217.183 (talk) 00:26, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

Removal of Kimis2013's edits[edit]

Kimis2013 edited the Reproduction section. She claimed, based on personal experience, that these squirrels bred three to four times a year and she provided an 800 telephone number to provide cooberation. Her claims are not consistent with other information on the web and personal research is not generally acceptable for a wikipedia article. She might be sincere or her edits might just be vandalism. If she was sincere and if she genuinely believes her information to be correct she needs to provide a credible published source to support her claim. I hope if she was sincere that she discusses her claim in the discussion section. Davefoc (talk) 17:11, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

Gray squirrels reproduce twice a year with an average litter of 4. Contrary to what is indicated in this article, the two seasons are longer AND very by region. I've seen orphaned baby squirrels come in as late at December (though this is rare.) This weekend I received two orphaned animals on October 12th which are apx. 5 weeks old, making their birth in early September, and another apx. 3 weeks old on October 13th, making her birth in late September. The article states the early season in December to February and the late season is June and July, months that don't correspond to what I actually see. The breeding seasons, at least in our area (central NC) are later and longer than those indicated. The mother also spends more time with each litter, up to 16 weeks, and a fall litter may stay in the nest with the mother, stealing her stored food (apparently with little objection from the mother), until spring. Mouse type rodents (rats, mice, etc.) reproduce more often, have larger litters, and spend much less time with each litter.CharmsDad (talk) 21:04, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
That may be the case however the article reflects what the quoted references say - to change it you would need to find a supporting reference (I have never seen one by the way).Orenburg1 (talk) 17:50, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
If references are quoted they should be reliable, but I have found that is frequently not the standard used for Wikipedia articles. Clearly the one referenced here isn't accurate throughout this animal's range.CharmsDad (talk) 07:38, 22 January 2013 (UTC)

Taxonomy[edit]

I have recently added a few taxas to the Taxonomy section of this articles that were previously missed. (My username was not displayed as I edited this page, before the creation of this account) —Preceding unsigned comment added by KnowledgeRequire (talkcontribs) 17:46, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Bone eating[edit]

Eastern Gray Squirrel gnawing a goat's skull

Sources:

Image illustrating the behavior is available; unfortunately, image quality is not good (distance was too great). --JN466 23:34, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Diet--plant roots[edit]

I observed a grey squirrel feeding on a ball of root mass the other day. I'm not sure if any credible sources will back this up so we can add it to the article, but it's worth considering. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.133.127.87 (talk) 17:56, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

UK Eastern Grays, are notorious for digging up bulbs for food in lean times. Daffodils and tulips seem to be common favourites. If you see a squirrel eating something like this it is likely desperation due to a severe lack of food available in the local habitat, usually because it's winter or early spring and the reserves have run dry. When they get even more desperate Eastern Grays will eat almost anything raiding bins for any form of human-leftovers. They also have been known to raid nests eating eggs and even small birds (I have personally witnessed 2 squirrels joining in a Magpie raid on a nest of Goldwings). This behaviour is extremely unusual and I personally have only witnessed this during the coldest winter in the UK in decades. An extreme weather event. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 77.102.217.183 (talk) 19:40, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

New Photo[edit]

Eastern Gray Squirrel at Round Copse.jpeg

I took this picture recently. Is it good enough to appear on this page? PaulJohnson (talk) 18:39, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

Etymology & Canada[edit]

In the United Kingdom and Canada, it is simply referred to as the Grey Squirrel. In the Canada where I live both "grey" and "gray" are used. Hinterland Who's Who and the Nova Scotia Museum use "grey" for the squirrel; Environment Canada and the N.S. Department of Natural Resources opt for "gray". This could go on forever. I think the blanket assertion should be altered. ("Gray Jay" seems to be agreed on for the bird, which Godfrey charmingly describes as "grey".) Modal Jig (talk) 19:35, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

F*ck! Disregard my thread above then, I’ve been double-crossed by Environment Canada. Maybe I’ll take the fight over to Grey Jay (aren’t they called WhiskyJacks in Canada?). Cheers — Muckapedia (talk) 31e mars 2010 16h11 (−4h)
"Whiskey Jack" is (was) common on the west coast of Canada but Canada Jay was used in the east. My old Peterson Guide used Canada Jay but the newer ones use Gray Jay. A recent (ROM) Birds of Ontario uses Gray jay. DGERobertson (talk) 01:31, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Add picture[edit]

I propose the following picture in order to illustrate the eastern gray squirrel:

Eastern gray squirrel
Eastern gray squirrel

Distribution Map[edit]

Shouldn't the distribution map include the UK since they are very prevalent there? 80.235.138.77 (talk) 08:15, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

The caption indicated the map excludes areas where the animal has been introduced, which would include the UK.CharmsDad (talk) 01:41, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

Their Predator Warning Calls - A Wildlife Community's Defense Mechanism[edit]

I know that you Wikipedians absolutely abhor original discoveries, but I discovered something quite interesting about Gray-Squirrels that is not written down in any books anywhere yet, and I thought you might appreciate the information (or at least every last naturalist, animal-behaviorist, ecologist, and scientist in the world will appreciate this info; if you won't). It certainly gave me a new appreciation for squirrels in my woods.

During an extensive cat-eradication project on my land, having to shoot and bury hundreds of cats, I started to have to watch for ANY signs of cat, no matter how slight it might be. I had a family of squirrels move into my roof space, (which I didn't really mind, having lived in tents and caves much of my life in my extensive studies of nature), and I noticed one day that they would make a particular sound whenever a cat would enter the area.

I discovered that their predator warning-call starts out with a short sequence, sounding like "chuck ... chuck ... chuck ... chuck ..." followed by a mimicry of the voice of whatever predator they have spotted. They also quickly climb (or get down, whichever is safest) and then point their noses and tails (up over their backs) in the direction of that predator. All nearby squirrels reacting to this warning and following suit. They can emulate the sound of a hawk's call so surprisingly well that even I would mistake a squirrel giving a hawk warning call for the very hawk they spotted minutes earlier but was now long gone.

For cats, they make a more strangled "meeuuuwww..." or "meeooww..." sound at the end of their chucking warning-call sequence. It's not anywhere near as clear and distinctive as their hawk warning, but you can tell they are trying to vocalize the sound of a cat. With cats being such a recently introduced invasive-species predator they do their best, unlike hawks that they've known for millennia.

The closer the predator is to them, the more excited and rapid is their chuck-chuck-chuck-...-voice-mimicry sequence. After the predator has left they still keep issuing the alert, as a "just in case", but it starts to wind-down, almost humorously, like a clock winding down or something running of steam. I sometimes got the feeling that they didn't want to look silly to the rest of the squirrels by making the sound for too long after the predator left. :-) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.251.115.41 (talk) 03:40, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

They do this for several reasons. 1) They are alerting their fellow squirrels. 2) If they can amplify the voice of their enemy, then they might attract an enemy of their enemy (as they used me). 3) They have effectively ruined any stealth tactics that their predator might be employing.

This is not unlike the complex language that's been discovered in Prairie Dog communities (squirrels being such a close relative too). Even more interestingly, I observed that all other wildlife, birds and mammals, have learned to recognize and respond to these squirrels' warning cries. No doubt due to them so successfully emulating the predators voice. (In fact, by following where these squirrels would relay the calls to one-another through the woods, I could use their predator calls to track down the most wary of cats, listening for what direction it went, where the majority of squirrel calls were coming from.)

Because of all this I have come to discover that squirrels are not the "tree rats" that so many (and even I used to) think them to be. They are an integral part of a wildlife community's defense mechanism. The predator-snitches of the woods, if you will. They are much more important to the balance of nature and the health of any forest than anyone would have ever suspected them to be.

(Amusing and true story: This last winter, about 4am in the morning, I heard a squirrel making a CAT ALERT warning call. Most odd, because it was still dark out, all cats had been gone from my land for nearly 2 years, and the sound wasn't coming from my wildlife surveillance system (I have an IR wildlife monitoring system for my surrounding woods). Nevertheless, I got up from what I was doing, grabbed my gun, and looked outside into the cold night, turning on the yard floods to look for "cat". Nope, no cat! Not even a squirrel making the sound! I sat back down and still heard the cat-alarm! I finally tracked it down to one of the squirrels in my roof right above me. It was sleeping and having nightmares about cats! Great. I don't have cats anymore, but now I have squirrels having nightmares about them! Maybe I shouldn't have learned squirrel-speak? :-) Absolutely 100% true story.)

(edit) Somewhat more strange, I recently noticed that that whole squirrel family moved out of my roof this spring, all on their own. I've changed nothing here other than ridding my woods of cats. I now suspect that they (as other wildlife has in the past) came to me for help. Now that the cats are gone they've gone back to the woods, where they wanted to be all along. If you've got squirrels in your roof or attic it might just be because they want you to get rid of the cats or other domestic predators that you've left laying around all over the place. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Special:Contributions ([[User talk:|talk]]) 03:15, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

All squirrel type rodents have predator warning cries. This is not only well established but is also one of the specific distinctions between them and other classes of rodents. The actual cry may vary by region, but within an area the cries have been shown to be specific to the type of threat. As to the squirrels moving out of your attic, it is common for females to have more than one prepared nest and move a given litter several times before the offspring leave the nest. (This is true with a good number of other species as well.) It is believed this has to do with limiting flea infestations, sanitation, and a few other issues.CharmsDad (talk) 04:42, 13 October 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for the interesting observations. To the extent that WP:RS can be found, coverage can be/has been added to the article. Your unpublished comments are still insightful. Reify-tech (talk) 19:58, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Gray vs grey: squirrel edition[edit]

I have one simple solution. We call them græy squirrels. Yes, I'm being facetious. We don't have nearly enough fun around here. 68.116.112.115 (talk) 21:47, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

Scent marking[edit]

Squirrels apparently use scent to mark territory, according to papers published by John L . Koprowski. This information could be fleshed out and added to the section on "Communication". Reify-tech (talk) 19:58, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ http://www.opsi.gov.uk/RevisedStatutes/Acts/ukpga/1981/cukpga_19810069_en_24