12 Different Types of Squirrels in the US

Types of Squirrels in the US
Photo by Joseph Yu on Pexels

There are various different Types of Squirrels in the US. The most frequent are ground squirrels, flying squirrels, and tree squirrels.

These very versatile rats thrive in a variety of situations and frequently dine on a variety of foods.

In our post, we will select the Types of Squirrels in the US from the three main categories of squirrels to spotlight today, including the tiniest and largest North American indigenous.

Let’s get started! 

1. Flying Squirrel

Flying Squirrel

The Southern Flying Squirrel is first on our list of Types of Squirrels in the US.

It is a small nocturnal species confined to the United States’ eastern portion, from Texas to Florida, Maine to Wisconsin, and all points in between.

These little rodents, weighing about 2-3 oz., have grown skin flaps from their front paws to their back paws.

These flaps enable the rodents to “fly” around the woodlands in which they live.

While not literally flying, these Types of Squirrels in the US will rush to the tops of trees, jump out, and spread their skin flaps to assist them in gliding to their next location. 

A Southern Flying Squirrel’s longest recorded glide was 200 feet, but they normally make far smaller leaps.

The northern flying squirrel is less common than the southern type in the contiguous United States.  

Northern flying squirrels can be found in various northern states bordering the Great Lakes, the Pacific Northwest, New England, most of Canada, and even Alaska.

The third and last type of flying squirrel found in North America and the United States is Humboldt’s flying squirrel.

This species is exclusively found in regions of Southern British Columbia and California.

2. Western Grey Squirrel

Western Grey Squirrel
by Dave Hamster is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Let’s head west to meet the western gray squirrel, a close relative of the eastern grey squirrel.

These silver-gray Types of Squirrels in the US are a striking sight as they smoothly navigate their wooded homes, with their characteristic silver-gray coat and attractive, bushy tails. 

The silver-gray fur of the western gray squirrel is darker on the back and lighter on the belly.

They’re significantly larger than their eastern siblings, weighing 1.5-2.2 pounds and reaching a total length of up to 24 inches, including their luxuriant tail.

The Western Grey Squirrel is native to the western United States, where it lives in mixed coniferous and hardwood forests and oak woodlands.

They are particularly fond of oak, pine, and Douglas-fir trees, which provide shelter and food.

These Types of Squirrels in the US have a diverse diet that includes nuts, seeds, acorns, berries, and fungus.

They are especially fond of pine seeds and acorns, which comprise a large diet component. Like their Eastern counterparts, they save food to prepare for hard times.

Western gray squirrels are also active during the day. They are frequently seen foraging or basking in the early morning and late evening.

They use vocalizations and tail signals to warn one another of impending threats or to assert dominance.

3. Fox Squirrel

Fox Squirrel
by Benimoto is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Fox Squirrel, sometimes known as the Eastern or Bryant’s Fox Squirrel, is North America’s largest squirrel species.

They weigh 1-3 pounds and are usually red, gray, brown, or black. 

Parts of Canada and Mexico and the eastern half of the United States, including Texas, Missouri, Florida, and New York, are home to this species.

Fox Squirrels dwell in forested environments and largely eat fungi, fruit, seeds, and nuts, though they occasionally eat bird eggs.

4. Arctic Ground Squirrel

Arctic Ground Squirrel
by DenaliNPS is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Arctic Ground Squirrels are found throughout most of Alaska. They are one-of-a-kind Types of Squirrels in the US that hibernate for 7-8 months of the year.

They not only hibernate but also engage in a behavior known as supercooling while dormant.

During hibernation, an animal’s temperature drops below freezing and then begins shivering for 15-20 minutes until it warms back to its regular temperature.

This is 98 degrees in the case of arctic ground squirrels. They then begin to cool again gradually. 

This is regarded to be an efficient means of preserving energy during an extended slumber.

Arctic ground squirrels are a critical component of the food chain, serving as the primary source of food for various birds of prey, bears, and foxes.

5. American Red Squirrel

Red squirrels are next on our list of Types of Squirrels in the US.

They can be found in areas of Canada, the northern United States, the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains, and even as far south as Georgia.

Because they love the seeds and nuts of pine trees, they prefer coniferous woods. Fruit, eggs, and berries will also be consumed.

While these Types of Squirrels in the US aren’t extremely social, they do live in close proximity and communicate when they detect threats.

If other squirrels’ offspring get orphaned, American red squirrels will take them in.

6. California Ground Squirrel

California Ground Squirrel
by LassenNPS is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Beechey ground squirrels, sometimes known as California ground squirrels, are prevalent in California, Oregon, Nevada, and Washington.

They love to dwell in open spaces like parks and fields, where they eat flowers, seeds, nuts, berries, and insects.

These Types of Squirrels in the US are considered pests in some locations because they will beg for food from humans and frequently munch on ornamental plants.

7. Eastern Grey Squirrel

Eastern Grey Squirrel
by THE Holy Hand Grenade! is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Eastern Canada and the United States are home to Eastern Grey Squirrels. They can be found from the Mississippi River all the way to Florida.

These squirrels are very gregarious and not territorial unless they defend their nests. 

Gray squirrels, like red squirrels, will take in orphans of their own species if necessary.

Eastern gray squirrels mostly consume nuts, seeds, grasses, tree bark, berries, flowers, plant bulbs, and grains such as maize. 

Many people regard these Types of Squirrels in the US as a nuisance because they attack bird feeders.

These squirrels are diurnal or active during the day. They are most active in the early morning and late evening.

They communicate with each other by employing a variety of vocalizations and tail motions to warn each other of potential risks or to assert their authority.

8. Douglas Squirrel

Douglas Squirrel
by sonstroem is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Douglas Squirrels are native to the Pacific Northwest pine forests of California, Oregon, Washington, and parts of Canada.

These Types of Squirrels in the US are roughly 8 oz in weight and eat seeds and nuts. 

They are quite noisy and alert, frequently alerting other squirrels and birds to the presence of predators in the neighborhood.

Douglas Squirrels are grayish in color with a chestnut belly. However, they have significantly duller colors to assist them in blending in during winter.

9. Abert’s Squirrel

Abert's Squirrel
by Bandelier National Monument is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Abert’s squirrel, often known as the tassel-eared squirrel, is possibly the cutest animal on the list.

The nuts from the Ponderosa Pine found in their native habitat of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and sections of Wyoming are their favored meal. 

These Types of Squirrels in the US feed on the bark and buds of the trees, as well as a fungus that thrives on the trees, in addition to nuts.

While the Abert’s squirrel has a distinguishing coat in the winter, they lose their attractive ear tufts and fluffy coats and wear relatively short brownish-gray hair in the summer.

10. Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel

Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel
by Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Thirteen-lined ground squirrels are found in the central United States and Canada, including Ohio, Arizona, Nebraska, and Kansas, to mention a few.

These ground squirrels enjoy wide grasslands to eat grass, seeds, leaves, small birds, reptiles, and insectivores.

11. Harris’s Antelope Ground Squirrel

Harris's Antelope Ground Squirrel
by Allie_Caulfield is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Harris’s antelope ground squirrels can be found in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.

They mostly live in deserts and prefer to live among dense flora.

These squirrels measure about 4oz and have a 2-3 years lifespan, primarily feeding on cactus plants, insects, and seeds.

Unlike the other squirrels on this list, Harris’ antelope squirrels live primarily alone, only congregating during the breeding season.

12. Least Chipmunk

Least Chipmunk
by Christian Collins is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The least chipmunk is last on our list of Types of Squirrels in the US that can be found over most of North America, including Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin sections.

They reside on the outskirts of boreal and temperate woods. Least chipmunks are the smallest chipmunk species, measuring about 1.5-2oz.

They eat seeds, nuts, berries, insects, birds, lizards, grasses, and mushrooms, and their enormous cheek pouches allow them to store and transport larger amounts of food to their nests. 

Chipmunks are solitary creatures that only congregate during the breeding season.

However, mothers are particularly devoted to their young and care for them for up to 6 weeks before they go to discover new territories on their own. 


As we conclude our list of Types of Squirrels in the US, let us pause to reflect on the wonderful insights we’ve received about the largest squirrels in the United States.

From the acrobatic eastern gray squirrel to the graceful western gray squirrel, it’s evident that these Types of Squirrels in the US offer a tremendous range of size, appearance, and behavior.

Each species has a distinct role in its ecosystem, demonstrating nature’s beauty and diversity.

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