Eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)

Close up of an eastern gray squirrel feeding while standing on natural ground.
The eastern gray squirrel is a non-native species. (Raymond Wambsgans - Creative Commons)
Category: Mammals

The eastern gray squirrel was introduced in Washington in the early 1900s. Since then they have been repeatedly released in parks, campuses, estates, and residential areas. They are now the most common tree squirrels in urban areas. The upper parts of the eastern gray squirrel are gray with a reddish wash in summer; its underparts are whitish. They are about 20 inches long, half of which is their prominent, bushy tail. 

Western gray squirrels, which are native to Washington but only occurring in three isolated populations, may be confused with this species. 

Living with wildlife

When the public is polled regarding suburban and urban wildlife, tree squirrels generally rank first as problem makers. Residents complain about them nesting in homes and exploiting bird feeders. Interestingly, squirrels almost always rank first among preferred urban/suburban wildlife species. Learn how to live with tree squirrels and prevent conflicts.