Squirrel Nest Update 4/7/2017
The camera is located in one of our screech owl boxes that a pair of gray squirrels have been using since the winter. At this point we do not know if this is a breeding pair of squirrels or siblings. We have never seen a pair of gray squirrels use the owl boxes so late in the season.


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External PTZ Camera

 

 
Owl Box 6
Sometimes has squirrels
 
   

 
Gray Squirrel Breeding Facts
The gray squirrel has two breeding cycles per year. The first breeding takes place in December thru February with the second cycle occurring from May to July. Since gestation takes from 40 to 44 days, this means that young are born in the early spring or summer to fall. Summer or fall litters tend to be larger due to the better overall condition and food availability to the mother. Litter size varies from 2 to 8 with 3 or 4 being the norm. Newborn gray squirrels are naked and helpless and weigh only about 6 tenths of an ounce. For the first couple of weeks, they are totally pink with part of the umbilical cord or a naval spot present. At two to three weeks, dark pigmentation begins to show on the top of the head and back. At three to four weeks, the pigmented areas start to show some fur fuzziness and the ears open. At five to six weeks more fur is apparent as is fur on the tail. The eyes begin to open. At this point the tail is completely furred but it is not yet bushy. Weaning begins at about seven weeks and is complete by ten. It takes from 8 to 9 months for the juvenile to achieve full adult size. Females can produce litters as young as 5 ˝ months of age. The potential for high recruitment into the population by large litter sizes creates a need for dispersal of the population. Young males are more inclined to leave the mother’s home range than juvenile females. The increased risks encountered in dispersal contribute to higher mortality among juvenile males and an overall adult sex ratio of almost 2 to 1 in favor of females.

Gray Squirrel Nests
Gray squirrels use three different types of nest. Summer Dreys and Winter Dreys are conspicuous constructions of leaves and twigs mounted high in treetops. Winter Dreys are made in layers. The outer layer consists of interwoven twigs while an inner layer is built up with softer materials consisting of bark, leaves, moss, fur, grass, and “found” materials. They are resistant to winter winds and provide protection where den sites may be in short supply. Summer Dreys are less elaborate and provide minimal protection from the elements. They are less likely to be used for litters. Tree dens in hollow trees are the preferred nest sites for raising young.


Gray Squirrel Dreys


 



 

   
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      1001 Corporate Lane
      Suite 100
      Murrysville , PA 15632

      Phone: 724-733-0970
      FAX:    724-733-0860
      Hours: M-F 8AM - 5PM Eastern Time Zone
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