Gray Squirrels

It’s hard to think of animals other than white-tailed deer being in breeding season right now, but the Eastern gray squirrel breeds during December-January and again May-June. Gestation lasts 44 days and their young are born February-March and July-August. The litters of gray squirrels consist of 2-3 young, and they typically produce 1-2 litters per year.

Young squirrels are reared in leaf nests, dens, and occasionally birdhouses. When they are born, the young have no teeth or fur, and their eyes and ears are tightly shut. Young squirrels are slow to mature – their eyes won’t open for about 36 days, it will be nearly seven weeks before they begin to sample solid foods like greens and bark, and approximately 10 weeks before they venture out of the nest onto the ground. At between 14 and 15 weeks gray squirrels are mature enough to venture out and live independently; however, it is not unusual for litters to stay together for close to nine months.

Learn more about gray squirrels:
Mammals of Ohio Field Guide: