GREY SQUIRREL, RED SQUIRREL

“What,” Garry asked, “Is the difference?”

Describing the differences doesn’t sound like much. This is where pictures show the differences much better.

He has a straighter, thicker tail. He doesn’t have a white ring around his eyes. He is also about 25% bigger than the red squirrel.

Double curly tail and white ring around the eyes. Smaller than the Eastern Grey Squirrel. They have a whiter tummy and sometimes have a black edge along the white tummy. Sometimes, depending on age and season, these guys can be really red. The red kids also have a more pointy face. I think they fight more because you see more red squirrels with the hair on their faces and tails pulled out — which is how they fight (I read that so it must be true).

The grey squirrels are more consistent in how they look. The red ones vary more, sometimes being quite red with very little gray, or with more gray than red. One way or the other, that double curled tail is a giveaway — as well as the size.



Categories: #animals, #gallery, #Photography, #Squirrel, Blackstone Valley, Nature, Wildlife

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6 replies

  1. How interesting! Over here (in the UK) our red squirrels are definitely red (see https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/saving-species/red-squirrels) But there are far too few of them, as the grey squirrels have all but taken over in most areas of the country 😦

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    • The grey squirrels are dominant in this country too. They are bigger, better hoarders, and overall pushier. Just for some reason in this tiny little pocket of woods, the red ones seem to be doing better. Some of them are REALLY red. They do seem to change colors with the seasons and their age, too.

      The little red squirrels are also very athletic and can be awfully funny to watch. But they are losing territory to the grey ones. It’s a natural pattern and there is, I’m told, nothing to be done about it.

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  2. Thank you for this excellent squirrel lesson 🙂
    Also, in most countries, the red squirrels are nearly wiped out as the grey ones have taken over their habitat. Which is quite terrible news as the red ones were far more modest in their needs.
    When I lived in the Toronto area LONG ago, red squirrels were sharing our footpaths and jumping across our ways with no fear.

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    • The red ones are more “people friendly.” They are also a LOT less destructive and eat less. But past a certain point, there’s not much one can do about it. I think our feeding them has helped so here, in this tiny corner of New England, we have a larger population of red squirrels — but overall, across the country, the gray ones are dominant. Of course, as you travel west, there are other squirrels including black ones. I don’t know how the mix works when you detract the grays and add the black ones.

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  3. Love it! Spot the Difference!
    I must admit though, if I saw one amongst the trees scurrying along, I would be hard pressed to tell them apart!

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