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Eastern Gray Squirrel Diet Preferences

11-16-18 gray squirrel_U1A1563

The diet of Eastern Gray Squirrels is extremely varied. Depending on the season, buds, fruit (such as the pictured crabapples being consumed), maple and oak flowers, berries, seeds, fungi, the inner bark of maple and elm, insects, and young birds are eaten. However, nuts are by far the main component, which is reflected in their distribution; the range of Gray Squirrels coincides strikingly with that of oak and hickory forests. Especially during the colder part of the year, nuts, acorns and maple seeds, or samaras, that they have stored for winter consumption are the mainstay of their diet. (Research shows that Gray Squirrels recover 85% of the nuts they store.)

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9 responses

  1. Melissa Zeiger

    “Maple and oak flowers, berries, seeds, fungi, the inner bark of maple and elm, insects, and young birds” and of course all my most expensive bulbs.

    November 16, 2018 at 3:04 pm

  2. Alice Pratt

    They also can hardly wait for me to put the expensive, no mess, Lyric birdseed out …meant for the birds. They also love slices of raisin bread, strawberry bread,…they can run with the whole slice hanging from their mouth….and peanuts in or out of the shell. Got a photo of a Raccoon, last week, standing on a planter, on it’s hind legs, chowing down from the tray of birdseed.

    November 16, 2018 at 3:06 pm

  3. Kay Fiedler

    Hello Mary, Very much enjoy your daily blog. Thank you for all your hard work.

    This little critter has set up winter housekeeping in my bathroom. I am intrigued by the bi-coloring. Can you tell me anything about it?

    Kay Fiedler

    November 16, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    • Hi Kay,
      Your photo didn’t come through. If you could send it to me directly ( I will take a look!

      November 16, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    • Marilyn

      What a striking photo!

      November 16, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    • Marilyn

      With only the bicolor clue, and the topic, I’d suggest a flying squirrel.

      November 16, 2018 at 5:30 pm

  4. janetpesaturo

    Beautiful photo. In my area, the acorn crop is so bad this year that the gray squirrels have already cleaned out everything else. They’ve long finished the hawthorn berries in my yard, which usually persist well into winter. I feel bad for them.

    November 16, 2018 at 3:15 pm

  5. Kathryn

    And bird feeders! Definitely keeping a few alive here!

    November 16, 2018 at 4:27 pm

  6. Diane

    They have really multiplied this year and there is nothing on my neighbors enormous oak so they hit my bird feeders in such a bad way that I resort to taking them down every day.

    November 18, 2018 at 7:22 pm

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