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Agile and energetic, they seem to be darting and dashing with great abandon in fall! Once acorns hit the ground, squirrels ramp up their activity level in a race to accumulate as many nuts as possible to prepare for winter.  They will hide, or cache them in many different locations which they either remember or can detect by smell. There is quite a competition as they steal from each other and even pretend to dig and hide acorns to trick onlookers. Meanwhile, they leave the hole empty and take their prize elsewhere,

Easily identified by their bushy, banner tail, these clever rodents can amuse us with their persistent antics, whether they are jumping from branch to branch or attempting to raid the birdfeeder. With chisel like front teeth, strong legs and claws a squirrel defends his territory against possible intruders, even if they are larger. This common tree dwelling fellow can be found anywhere that there is an abundant food supply. A favorite food are the nuts of the oak and hickory.

The eastern grey squirrel is also a great communicator with vocalizations to suit the occasion. An alarm call is a series of rapid clicking sounds—kuk, kuk, kuk—which warns all other nearby squirrels of danger. Sometimes squirrels will even join together to taunt a predator.  And in an aggressive encounter between two squirrels, tooth chattering is often heard.

Learn more about all the squirrels of New York here.

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Squirrels are opportunistic. While they primarily favor nuts of the oak and hickory, they will eat everything from fruit to vegetables and even plants. Their adaptability has enabled then to survive and thrive.


They are tree dwelling animals and will make their homes where food is available.

Life Cycle

They often live 3-5 years and can even reach ten years of age. This is very long lived for a rodent! Each male has a range that he defends, although in winter up until breeding season, territoriality wanes in favor of survival of the elements.

Ecosystem Connections

When the squirrel hides nuts in the fall, some are forgotten. In this way, they are planting the new trees and shrubs, supporting and sustaining the forest around us.

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