Sunday, July 22, 2012

Fox Squirrel

My impression, completely unsupported by any scientific data, is that Fox Squirrels are less common than Gray Squirrels in Rice County. When I do see Fox Squirrels, they tend to be in the countryside and they tend to be wary (perhaps due to 160,000 taken annually by Minnesota hunters (MN-DNR)). On the other hand, when I lived in South Dakota, I only saw Fox Squirrels. I even offered an A to any Vertebrate Zoology student who could show me a Gray Squirrel in South Dakota. Nobody collected my bounty (and the offer is no longer valid).

Although they do not inhabit the far northeast, Fox Squirrels are found in most of Minnesota; they are most common in the western half of the state.  Fox Squirrels are found in woodlands, parks, and residential areas. I have seen Fox Squirrels in Loring Park in Minneapolis. These rodents eat tree nuts, corn, maple seeds, pine seeds, acorns, and even garbage (MN-DNR). Erika and I found this quite tame Fox Squirrel in the Spring Lake Park Preserve in northern Dakota County in July 2012.

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