Fox Squirrels can reach 3 pounds in weight; they have long bushy tails up to a foot long. In our two nature centers most of them are two tones of orange in color, although an all black color variant is also present (images 3,4), at least in Fontenelle Forest. They are mostly herbivores, focusing on nuts in season and storing them in the dirt for consumption during winter. In late winter and spring their diet turns to buds of various trees. They can often be seen licking salt from roads in winter. They are larger than the Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), which have silvery hairs on their tails and a white belly. Adult females can have two litters per growing season. It takes 2-3 months to wean each litter, so they are seldom seen outside their nests when young.
Fox Squirrels are common in both nature centers, especially where hickory trees are found. They readily come to bird feeders to consume sunflower and other seeds. The black variant is rare in Fontenelle Forest and not recently reported in Neale Woods.
The content of NatureSearch is provided by dedicated volunteer Naturalists of Fontenelle Forest who strive to provide the most accurate information available. Contributors of the images retain their copyrights. The point of contact for this page is: Roland Barth.