Thursday, October 14, 2010

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Eastern Gray Squirrels are abundant in our Minnesota backyard.  I never saw one in South Dakota.  According to the book Wild Mammals of South Dakota, Eastern Gray Squirrels should occur along the eastern tier of South Dakota counties but are only known from Roberts County, in the far northeast of the state. Museum specimens exist from Minnehaha Co.

This squirrel hoards food in hundreds of small caches, to which the squirrels return months later. Wikipedia informs us that the squirrels have very accurate spatial memories for the locations of these caches.  They use both distant and nearby landmarks to find the caches again. These squirrels usually make leaf nests in tree forks, but will also nest in tree holes and in human habitations.  They breed twice a year.  As we well know in Minnesota, Eastern Gray Squirrels do not hibernate.

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