Wild Animals/Gray Squirrels


I have a large number of Gray Squirrels in my back yard. I am wondering if it is possible to ascertain the the sex and possible age of squirrels by many observations. I notice the size variations and lesser tails of some versus others? Can you advise me?.

Thank you, Leon McBrayer

Dear Leon

Thank you for your questions. I also wish to thank the authors of the websites I used.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_gray_squirrel says the breeding seasons are December to February and May to June, but this is slightly delayed in more northern latitudes. E. Anne Hunter (http://animals.mom.me/tell-male-gray-squirrel-female-squirrel-5994.html) says males have a outwardly visible penis and scrotum, while females have a visible vaginal area. During the breeding season, the adult male’s testes are swollen and the scrotum is fully descended. During the breeding season, a
female attracts males with a scent when she is ready to mate. One or more males vigorously chase her. The squirrel in the lead is probably the female and the one which mates with her is usually the dominant male. Females give birth and raise their young in dens in a very small territory. If you see an adult squirrel with juveniles, the adult is probably female. Males and females do not form pair bonds, so you are unlikely to seed a male with his young or in the female’s den.

Ted (https://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110506171407AAhwRu4) says older adults tend to have white hair around the eyes and face. file:///C:/Users/admin-me/Downloads/Dubock-1979-Journal_of_Zoology_age%20determination%20of%20squirrels.pdf gives technical information about how to age squirrels. http://www.squirrelsandmore.com/how-to-determine-the-age-of-a-baby-squirrel?___s gives information about how to age baby squirrels.  

I hope this helps

All the best


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Jonathan Wright


I can answer questions about wild mammals and other animals, as well as extinct animals and zoos. I am not an expert about every animal species. I can look up information from books and the internet, but can't verify if all the information is true. Please don't ask questions about: 1. Pets. I am not a vet. Please contact a vet if your pet is ill. You may need to spend some money if you want your pet to live. Don't get a pet if you don't know how to look after it and if you can't provide it with the space, food and possible companions that will help it live a healthy life. Don't take animals from the wild, unless they are ill and/or injured and you can protect them until a wildlife charity can help. It is cruel to take animals from their parents, especially if the parents will look for the babies, while putting their other babies at risk. You may be breaking the law by keeping wild animals or you may need a licence to look after some species. Please check with a local wildlife group. 2. Eggs: Please don't remove eggs from nests. The mother birds provide the right temperature for the eggs and won't sit on them if the temperature is warm enough for them to develop naturally. It is illegal to remove eggs of some species and, unless you have an incubator or a broody hen, the egg may not develop. If you are allowed to touch the eggs, you can candle them to see if they are fertile. If theys aren't fertile, they won't hatch. 3. Fights: Please don't ask about fights between different animals. These questions assume that individuals of two species fight each time they meet and that one species will always be victorious over another. This is untrue. There are cases where a live mouse has been fed to a venomous snake, bitten the snake leading to the snake's demise. 4: Diseases: Please ask doctors or other medical experts about diseases that you may catch from animals. I can't advise on how to deal with viruses, bacteria etc.


I have a zoology degree and have been interested in animals since I was two. I am a zoo volunteer at London Zoo. I have appeared on a BBC Radio Quiz, 'Wildbrain'.

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