The Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), or the Grey Squirrel, depending on region, is a tree squirrel. Like many members of the family Sciuridae, the Eastern Gray Squirrel is a scatter-hoarder; it hoards food in numerous small caches for later recovery. Some caches are quite temporary, especially those made near the site of a sudden abundance of food which can be retrieved within hours or days for re-burial in a more secure site. Others are more permanent and are not retrieved until months later. It has been estimated that each squirrel makes several thousand caches each season. The squirrels have very accurate spatial memory for the locations of these caches, and use distant and nearby landmarks to retrieve them. Smell is used once the squirrel is within a few centimeters of the cache.
An Eastern Gray Squirrel drey

The Eastern Gray Squirrels builds a type of nest, known as a drey, in the forks of trees. The drey consists mainly of dry leaves and twigs. It may also build a nest in the attic or in the exterior walls of a house, often to the consternation of the homeowner. In addition, the squirrel may inhabit a permanent tree den.

The Eastern Gray Squirrel is more active during the early and late hours of the day, and tends to avoid the heat in the middle of a summer day. It does not hibernate.

It breeds twice a year, December to February and May to June, though this is slightly delayed in more northern latitudes.[5] The first litter is born in February to March, the second in June to July. There are normally two to four young in each litter, but this number can be as high as 8. The gestation period is about 44 days.[5] The young are weaned at 7 weeks and leave the nest after 10 weeks.

Sungei Buloh Nature Park
January 2009

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