WOW-Eastern Gray Squirrel!

Posted on 11. Sep, 2018 by in WOW! Blog

When you think of a common mammal that you might see in your yard or your neighborhood what’s the first thing that comes to mind?  For me that would be the Squirrel or more precisely the Eastern Gray Squirrel. This creature is the North Carolina State Mammal. It’s hard to imagine a day going by without seeing one on my back deck, trying to get on a bird feeder, carrying a nut or acorn across the yard to bury it or just running up a tree and scolding me for disturbing it! They are everywhere.  Sometimes considered a nuisance the Eastern Gray Squirrel plays an important part in maintaining our forests.  That’s right. Because squirrels bury nuts and acorns to store them for eating later they are actually planting seeds that grow into trees. They get high marks for their reforestation efforts. Squirrels are rodents and use those big front teeth to gnaw on nuts and acorns and sometimes to gnaw on trees or other things we might not really want them to eat. They nest in cavities in trees or in the nests they build out of sticks and leaves high in trees.  The female can have two litters a year, in winter and summer. The young are born hairless and their eyes are closed. The young are weaned after about two months.  The other squirrel that is common to our area is the Southern Flying Squirrel. They are rarely seen because they are nocturnal.  They don’t really fly but they have a flap of skin between the front and hind legs that allow them to glide.

So, next time you see an Eastern Gray Squirrel in your yard enjoy its crazy antics and think about how  it helps us by planting trees all over the place.

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