American red squirrel

(Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)

Conservation Status
American red squirrel
Photo by Luciearl
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

 
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

 
  Minnesota

not listed

 
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

American red squirrel is a small, noisy tree squirrel, the smallest of the tree squirrels of its range. This pine squirrel is easily recognized by its small size, its red upperside, and its drawn-out, rachet-like chatter.

At maturity it is 11 to 13¾ long including the tail.

The head and body are 7 to 8 long. In summer the back and sides are dull grayish- to greenish red. In winter they are orangish-red. The head is slightly darker and grayer and there is a prominent white ring around each eye. The underside is white. There is a narrow black band, separating the brown upperside from the white underside, that is visible only in the summer. The legs and feet are yellowish brown.

The tail is 4 to 6 long. The upperside is reddish-brown bordered with black and cinnamon. The underside is gray tinged with cinnamon. In winter the fur colors are brighter.

The ears are moderate in size and somewhat pointed. In wither there are tufts of fur on the tips.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Head and body: 7 to 8

Tail: 4 to 6

 
     
 

Sign

 
 

 

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Coniferous, deciduous, and mixed forests

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Behavior

 
 

 

 
     
 

Lifespan

 
 

Usually less than 5 years

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

Nests are usually made by lining a tree hollow. Sometimes a hollow log is used, sometimes a leaf nest is built. The female has one litter of usually 2 to 5 in mid-January to mid-February. The young leave the nest after 40 days. Up to 75% die from predation in the first year. Those that survive may live up to 9 years, though few live more than 5 years.

 
     
 

Food

 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 15, 24, 29, 30.

Northern red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus hudsonicus) range is restricted to the northeastern and northcentral counties.

Minnesota red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus minnesota) range includes all but the northeastern and northcentral counties.

 
  7/29/2022      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Class Mammalia (mammals)  
  Subclass Theria  
  Infraclass Placentalia (placental mammals)  
  Superorder Euarchontoglires (primates, rodents, and allies)  
  Order Rodentiia (rodents)  
  Suborder Sciuromorpha (squirrels, dormice, and mountain beavers)  
 

Family

Sciuridae (squirrels)  
 

Subfamily

Sciurinae (typical and flying squirrels)  
  Tribe Sciurini (typical squirrels)  
 

Genus

Tamiasciurus (pine squirrels)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus lanuginosus)

Alaska red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus petulans)

American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus preblei)

Bailey’s red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus baileyi)

Bangs red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus gymnicus)

Black Hills red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus dakotensis)

British Columbia red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus columbianus)

Dixie red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus dixiensis)

Fremont red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus fremonti)

Isle Royale red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus regalis)

Kenai red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus kenaiensis)

Kupreanof red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus picatus)

Laurentian red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus laurentianus)

Minnesota red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus minnesota)

Mogollon Mountains red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus mogollonensis)

Mount Graham red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus grahamensis)

North Dakota red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus pallescens)

northern red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus hudsonicus)

Richardson red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus richardsoni)

Ruidoso red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus lychnuchus)

southern Appalachian red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus abieticola)

Streator red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus streatori)

talkative red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus loquax)

Ungava red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus ungavensis)

Wind River Mountains red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus ventorum)

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

American red squirrel

boomer

chickaree

pine squirrel

red squirrel

spruce squirrel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

Share your photo of this mammal.

 
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Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.
 
 

DebMN

 
 

I know a lot gray coloring. My daughter say gray squirrel. If I am wrong do not post.

 
    American red squirrel      
 

Ramona Abrego

 
    American red squirrel   American red squirrel  
 

Lynn Rubey

 
 

A Red Squirrel in The Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge climbing on a tree stump screaming out a warning to another hidden nearby, I back away and the other Red Squirrel ran to safety from the deep grass along the road.

  American red squirrel  
 

Norm & Peg Dibble

 
 

Red Squirrel, February 2016, never seen one before or since. Extremely fast at running away with the peanuts!

  American red squirrel  
 

Luciearl

 
    American red squirrel   American red squirrel  
           
    American red squirrel      
           
 

Napping on a hot day.

 
    American red squirrel      
           
 

Napping with a black squirrel after foraging together.

 
    American red squirrel      
 

Wayne Rasmussen

 
 

Cascade SP residents include a variety of squirrels. These were captured with a Sony CD1000 digital camera in June of 2001.

  American red squirrel  
           
 

Red Squirrel in Maplewood Hts Park. They are feisty critters and can be destructive to property, but they will deter the larger gray squirrels.

Tamiasciurus hudsonicus
Less than half as large as the gray, this noisy little squirrel is Minnesota's smallest tree squirrel. It is found in every county of the state, but is most common in evergreen (conifer) forests.
— MN DNR

  American red squirrel  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
    American red squirrel   American red squirrel  

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
  Red Squirrels
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  Red Squirrels  
 
About

They come out of the woods in the winter and enjoy the bird feeders. They are comical as they dig tunnels in the snow and chase each other about.

Tamiasciurus hudsonicus

 
  Tamiasciurus hudsonicus (Red Squirrel)
Allen Chartier
 
  Tamiasciurus hudsonicus (Red Squirrel)  
  American Red Squirrel
Doug Scobel
 
  American Red Squirrel  

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

Share your video of this mammal.

 
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Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach a video, a YouTube link, or a cloud storage link.
 
 

 

 
     
     
       
       
 
Other Videos
 
  Red Squirrel (Sciuridae: Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) Vocalization
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Aug 11, 2010

Of interest to me here is the peculiar bass undertones embedded in this scolding chatter. I'm not sure if it's audible to all who listen to this clip. Photographed at the Rydell NWR, Minnesota (10 August 2010).

   
  Red Squirrel (Sciuridae: Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) Hip-hop
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jul 11, 2009

Photographed at the Rydell NWR, Minnesota (11 July 2009).

   
  Tamiasciurus hudsonicus
Jean-François Noulin
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Nov 25, 2011

Tamiasciurus hudsonicus

   
  Angry Red Squirrel - Brainerd Dispatch, MN
BrainerdDispatch
 
   
 
About

Published on Mar 14, 2012

I ran into this red squirrel while at the Northland Arboretum hunting for photos. It didn't like me. - Kelly Humphrey

   
  Upset North American Red Squirrel
Jessica Lyon
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 4, 2012

I think he lost his mate.

   

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this mammal.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.
 
  DebMN
7/28/2022

Location: Mound, MN

I know a lot gray coloring. My daughter say gray squirrel. If I am wrong do not post.

American red squirrel

 
  John Valo
7/29/2022

It's hard to tell from this photo, but…

  • the eye rings appear white and prominent
  • the tail appears reddish, rather than gray or brown

I can't say that this is not a red squirrel, and a double negative is as good as a positive.

 
  Lynn Rubey
10/28/2019

Location: Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge

A Red Squirrel in The Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge climbing on a tree stump screaming out a warning to another hidden nearby, I back away and the other Red Squirrel ran to safety from the deep grass along the road.

American red squirrel

 
  Luciearl
5/29/2018

Location: Cass County

American red squirrel

 
  Luciearl
7/11/2018

Location: Cass County

Napping on a hot day.

American red squirrel

 
  Wayne Rasmussen
6/3/2016

Location: Maplewood Heights Park

They are feisty critters and can be destructive to property, but they will deter the larger gray squirrels.

American red squirrel

 
  Norm & Peg Dibble
February 2016

Location: Maple Grove, MN

Red Squirrel, February 2016, never seen one before or since. Extremely fast at running away with the peanuts!

American red squirrel

 
  Wayne Rasmussen
6/8/2001

Location: Cascade River State Park

Cascade SP residents include a variety of squirrels. These were captured with a Sony CD1000 digital camera in June of 2001.

American red squirrel

 
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
 

Afton State Park

Badoura Jack Pine Woodland SNA

Baker Park Reserve

Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park

Big Stone Lake State Park

Blaine Wetland Sanctuary

Boot Lake SNA

Buffalo River State Park

Bur Oak WMA

Camden State Park

Cannon River Wilderness Area

Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center

Carver Park Reserve

Cedar Mountain SNA

Chamberlain Woods SNA

Cherry Grove Blind Valley SNA

Chimney Rock SNA

Clear Lake SNA

Cleary Lake Regional Park

Clifton E. French Regional Park

Crosby Farm Regional Park

Crow Wing State Park

Crystal Spring SNA

Dodge Nature Center

Dry Sand WMA

Elm Creek Park Reserve

Falls Creek SNA

Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

Frontenac State Park

Glendalough State Park

Gneiss Outcrops SNA

Greenleaf Lake SRA

Greenwater Lake SNA

Hampton Woods WMA

Hayes Lake State Park

Hemlock Ravine SNA

Interstate State Park

Iron Springs Bog SNA

Itasca State Park

Jay Cooke State Park

John Murtaugh Memorial WMA

John Peter Hoffman Spring Brook Valley WMA

Keller Regional Park

Kilen Woods State Park

Lake Bemidji State Park

Lake Bronson State Park

Lake Byllesby Regional Park

Lake Carlos State Park

Lake Rebecca Park Reserve

Lawrence Creek SNA

Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Lester Lake SNA

Lost 40 SNA

Lutsen SNA

McCarthy Beach State Park

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Mille Lacs Moraine SNA

Minneopa State Park

Minnesota Valley NWR, Long Meadow Lake Unit

Moose Lake State Park

Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve

Myhr Creek Ridge SNA

Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo

Pigeon River Cliffs

Pine Bend Bluffs SNA

Potato Lake SNA

Prairie Creek WMA, Koester Prairie Unit

Ritter Farm Park

River Terrace Prairie SNA

Robert Ney Memorial Park Reserve

Rock Ridge Prairie SNA

Rushford Sand Barrens SNA

St. Croix Savanna SNA

Sakatah Lake State Park

Savage Fen SNA

Savanna Portage State Park

Scenic State Park

Schoolcraft State Park

Seven Mile Creek County Park

Seven Springs WMA

Sibley State Park

Stanley Eddy Memorial Park Reserve

Sunfish Lake Park

Thompson County Park

Townsend Woods SNA

Upper Sioux Agency State Park

Valley View Park, Oak Park Heights

Vermillion Highlands Research Recreation and WMA

Vermillion River WMA

Whitetail Woods Regional Park

Whitewater State Park

William O’Brien State Park

Wood-Rill SNA

Woodbury WMA

Woodland Trails Park

 

 

 

Binoculars


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