Tag Archives: Sciurus carolinensis


On my way home from visiting my daughter Liv who lives in Brooklyn, I stopped at several locations along the Connecticut coast where Snowy Owls have recently been sighted. Although no owls materialized, it was super interesting to learn about the diverse range of habitats hosting Snowies during this fantastic Snowy Owl irruption of 2017-2018. Liv and I spent Saturday morning exploring Jamaica Bay wildlife refuge and other habitats along the Brooklyn coastline where Snowies are also spending the winter. Photos to come when I have time to sort through but in the meantime, this funny little squirrel followed me about the Connecticut Audubon Refuge, coming quite close and seemingly wanting to play hide and seek. I played along for a bit and wished I had a peanut in my pocket 🙂

Snowy Day Squirrel

Squirrel snowEastern Gray Squirrel

Snowy Gray Squirrel ©kim Smioth 2015

The diet of the gray squirrel is comprised principally of seeds and nuts, with acorns, beechnuts, butternuts, and hickory the mainstay during the winter months. In autumn, gray squirrels clip nuts from the tree canopy and bury them in the ground, relying on their sense of smell to retrieve during the winter–even digging through several feet of snow. I often observe them stashing the bird seed in the crevices of our old pear trees and find whole chestnuts buried in our garden. During periods of severe winter weather, gray squirrels may stay in their dens or nest for several days, eventually visiting their stores of nuts, as well as bird feeders, during the warmest hours of the day.

gray squirrel flattening ©Kim Smith 2015  copy When alarmed gray squirrels freeze, then flatten themselves to a trunk or limb and inch around to the other side to stay hidden.

The Newest Member of Our Family

Just kidding although, try telling that to the squirrel. We are convinced that this little baby squirrel is convinced that I am its mom. When out in the garden it comes running to greet me, which was startling, initially. I wasn’t entirely sure it wasn’t going to bite me. The squirrel and its sibling cry loudly and plaintively, to no avail, from our neighboring tree. I think their squirrel mom has perished.

Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)

The photo is not cropped. I was holding the camera less than a foot from the squirrel.