Squirrels are a common sight in Ontario, and there are several different species of squirrels that call it home. Depending on the region, you may find red squirrels, grey squirrels, flying squirrels, and even the occasional black squirrel. Each species has its own unique characteristics and is found in different habitats throughout the province.
The most common five types of squirrel found in Ontario are the Eastern grey squirrel, Red squirrel, Northern flying squirrel, Southern flying squirrel, and Fox squirrel. Grey squirrels are found in urban and suburban areas, and are especially fond of gardens and parks. Red squirrels, another species found in Ontario, are much smaller than grey squirrels.
5 Types Of Squirrels In Ontario
1. Eastern Grey Squirrel
The Eastern Grey Squirrel is one of the most common five types of squirrel in Ontario, Canada. They are about 20-25 cm in length, with a greyish-brown fur and a white underside. The tail is very long and bushy, and is usually held in an upright position. They are mainly found in deciduous forests, but can also be found in urban areas and parks.
Eastern Grey Squirrels are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day. They are omnivores, and their diet mainly consists of nuts, fruits, seeds, and sometimes insects. They are agile climbers and can jump up to 2m in the air. They are also good swimmers, and like to take baths in shallow puddles.
Eastern Grey Squirrels are solitary animals, but can often be seen in groups during the winter. They mate in the spring and usually have a litter of two to seven young. They produce two litters per year, one in the spring and one in the late summer.
Eastern Grey Squirrels are important to the ecology of Ontario, as they help to disperse the seeds of various plants and trees. They are also a popular game species, and hunting them is allowed in certain areas.
2. Red Squirrel
The Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) is one of the most common types of squirrels found in Ontario, Canada. It is a small, colorful squirrel that is easily recognized by its reddish fur, white underparts, and long, bushy tail. This species is diurnal, meaning it is most active during the day.
The Red Squirrel is native to North America and is found throughout most of Canada. In Ontario, they are found in boreal, hardwood and mixedwood forests, as well as urban parks and gardens. They prefer open areas with plenty of trees and shrubs, but can also be found in more densely wooded areas. They are also found in treeless areas such as farmland and muskeg.
Red Squirrels live in nests made from twigs and leaves, which are usually built in tree cavities, or in leaf-lined dens on the ground. These nests are used for shelter during the winter months and for raising young.
Red Squirrels eat a variety of foods, including seeds, nuts, berries, fruits, insects, eggs, and bird nestlings. They are capable of storing food in their cheek pouches for later consumption.
Red Squirrels are active all year round. In the summer months, they are often seen gathering and hoarding food for the winter. In the winter, they remain active, but conserve their energy by staying in their nests during the coldest parts of the day.
Red Squirrels have many natural predators, including hawks, owls, foxes, coyotes, and domestic cats. They are also vulnerable to destruction of their habitats due to logging and development. For this reason, it is important to protect their habitats and provide suitable nesting and foraging sites for them to thrive.
3. Northern Flying Squirrel
The Northern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus) is a species of squirrel commonly found in the northern parts of North America and Canada, including Ontario. They are one of the two species of flying squirrels found in Ontario, the other being the southern flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans).
Northern Flying Squirrels are small, nocturnal rodents that grow to a length of about 25 cm (10 in) and weigh between 66 and 123 g (2.3 and 4.3 oz). They have soft, greyish-brown fur on the back and pale greyish-white fur on the underside. They also have large eyes to help them see in the dark.
These squirrels are known for their ability to glide between trees using loose skin membranes that connect their front and back legs. This form of gliding allows them to cover distances of up to 45 m (150 ft). They also have a long, prehensile tail that helps them balance while they are gliding.
Northern Flying Squirrels feed on a variety of foods, including nuts, seeds, fruits, fungi, and insects. They are also known to enter bird feeders and steal food from them. They typically build their nests in the hollows of trees, but may also build them in birdhouses and buildings.
Northern Flying Squirrels are found in a variety of habitats, including mixed hardwood and conifer forests, as well as urban and suburban areas. They are considered a species of least concern by the IUCN and are not threatened.
4. Southern Flying Squirrel
The Southern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys volans) is a species of squirrel found in many parts of Ontario, Canada. It is one of the most common squirrels in the province, and is distinguishable from other species by its unique flying ability.
The Southern Flying Squirrel is small and agile, with a body length of 15-20 cm and a tail length of 8-15 cm. Its fur is mostly grey, but its belly and underside are white with a slight reddish hue. Its eyes are black, and its ears are large and round. Its tail is slightly flattened and has a white tip.
The Southern Flying Squirrel is active at night, and is most commonly seen during the summer months. It is an omnivore, feeding on fruits, nuts, insects, and small vertebrates. It prefers to forage in deciduous forests and urban parks.
The Southern Flying Squirrel is an excellent climber and is capable of gliding from tree to tree using a membrane called a patagium, which extends from its wrists to its ankles. It also has a very loud call which can be heard for miles.
The Southern Flying Squirrel is an important part of the Ontario ecosystem, and is a keystone species that helps to maintain the health of its habitat. It is also a popular species for wildlife viewing, and is a popular pet species in some areas.
5. Fox Squirrel
The Fox Squirrel also known as (Sciurus niger) is another type of squirrel in Ontario species of sq, Canada. It is the largest species of tree squirrel in North America, with a body length of 20-28 cm (7.9-11.0 in) and a weight of 500-820 g (1.1-1.8 lb). It has a grayish-brown coat with reddish-brown on its back and tail, and a white belly.
The Fox Squirrel is found in deciduous and mixed forests throughout Ontario. It is an opportunistic omnivore, and its diet includes nuts, seeds, fruits, buds, and insects. It is active year-round and is most active during the day, when it can be seen foraging for food or sunning itself on tree limbs.
The Fox Squirrel is an important part of the ecosystem in Ontario, as it feeds on a variety of tree seeds and fruits, dispersing them throughout the area. It is also an important prey species for raptors, such as the red-tailed hawk and great horned owl.
The Fox Squirrel is considered a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It is not threatened or endangered in Ontario, but it is still important to take steps to protect its habitats, such as providing nesting boxes or eliminating pesticide use.
In summary, there are four different species of squirrels found in Ontario: grey squirrels, red squirrels, flying squirrels, and black squirrels. However, there are five of the most common types of squirrels in Ontario which are Eastern Grey squirrel, Red squirrel, Northern flying squirrel, Southern flying squirrel and Fox squirrel.
Each type of squirrel has its own unique characteristics and habitat preferences. While they are all common in the province, the black squirrel is the rarest of the four species. All four species of squirrels play an important role in the Ontario ecosystem, and provide important services, such as controlling pest populations.