Gray Squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) are the most abundant squirrel species in Suffolk County. They have a lifespan of 6-12 years. They are approximately 18”-20” long and weigh between 1lb-1.5lbs. Huge eyes aid in their excellent vision and depth perception to find food and evade predators. They can come in multiple color variations including albino, white and black, which are all Gray Squirrels with different amounts of pigment in their fur.
Squirrels are opportunist feeders that eat fruits, seeds, acorns, hickory nuts, walnuts and bird seed. But seasonally snack on tree buds, succulent plants, bird eggs, mushrooms, garden plants, corn and other field crops. Their nests are usually eight inches round and constructed of leaf litter. They are usually found in tree nooks, but are sometimes found in dryer vents causing a dangerous fire hazard.
You can usually hear them scampering, scratching and chewing on acorns, pine cones and fruit in trees, with their debris falling down on your roof. But sometimes they are found damaging bird feeders, attic vents, soffits, eaves, gutters, insulation, furnace/chimney flue, shingles and fascia boards with their sharp teeth. They even run across power lines, sometimes shorting out transformers. They do not hibernate, but can usually be found denning down with 8-10 other squirrels over the winter.
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