American red squirrel

(Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

American red squirrel


N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed




Coniferous, deciduous, and mixed forests


Usually less than 5 years


Head and body: 7 to 8

Tail: 4 to 6

Photo by Wayne Rasmussen


This is a small, noisy tree squirrel, the smallest of the tree squirrels of its range.

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 with 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.


This pine squirrel is easily recognized by its small size, its red upperside, and its drawn-out, rachet-like chatter.



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.



Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 7, 13, 15, 24, 29.

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.





Rodentia (rodents)



Sciuromorpha (squirrels)



Sciuridae (chipmunks, marmots, squirrels)



Sciurinae (tree squirrels, flying squirrels, and relatives)



Tamiasciurini (pine squirrels)

Subordinate Taxa

American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus abieticola)

Bailey’s red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus baileyi)

British Columbia red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus columbianus)

Black Hills red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus dakotensis)

Dixie red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus dixiensis)

Fremont red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus fremonti)

Mount Graham red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus grahamensis)

Bangs red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus gymnicus)

northern red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus hudsonicus)

Kenai red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus kenaiensis)

American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus lanuginosus)

Laurentian red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus laurentianus)

talkative red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus loquax)

Ruidoso red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus lychnuchus)

Minnesota red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus minnesota)

Mogollon Mountains red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus mogollonensis)

North Dakota red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus pallescens)

Alaska red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus petulans)

Kupreanof red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus picatus)

American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus preblei)

Isle Royale red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus regalis)

Richardson red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus richardsoni)

Streator red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus streatori)

Ungava red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus ungavensis)

Wind River Mountains red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus ventorum)




American red squirrel



pine squirrel

red squirrel

spruce squirrel








Visitor Photos

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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.

  American red squirrel    
  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.


  American red squirrel   American red squirrel





  Red Squirrels
Andree Reno Sanborn
  Red Squirrels  

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  




Visitor Videos

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Other Videos

  Red Squirrel (Sciuridae: Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) Vocalization
Carl Barrentine

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

Uploaded on Jul 11, 2009

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

  Tamiasciurus hudsonicus
Jean-François Noulin

Uploaded on Nov 25, 2011

Tamiasciurus hudsonicus

  Angry Red Squirrel - Brainerd Dispatch, MN

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

Published on Jul 4, 2012

I think he lost his mate.





Visitor Sightings

Report a sighting of this mammal.


Location: Cass County

Napping on a hot day.

American red squirrel

Wayne Rasmussen

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

Wayne Rasmussen

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



Afton State Park

Badoura Jack Pine Woodland SNA

Baker Park Reserve

Big Stone Lake State Park

Blaine Wetland Sanctuary

Boot Lake SNA

Buffalo River State Park

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

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

French Regional Park

Frontenac State Park

Glendalough State Park

Gneiss Outcrops SNA

Greenleaf Lake SRA

Greenwater Lake SNA

Hayes Lake State Park

Hemlock Ravine SNA

Interstate State Park

Iron Springs Bog SNA

Itasca State Park

Jay Cooke State Park

Kilen Woods State Park

Lake Bemidji State Park

Lake Bronson State 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

River Terrace Prairie SNA

Robert Ney Memorial Park Reserve

Rock Ridge Prairie SNA

Rushford Sand Barrens SNA

Sakatah Lake State Park

Savage Fen SNA

Savanna Portage State Park

Scenic State Park

Schoolcraft State Park

Sibley State Park

Stanley Eddy Memorial Park Reserve

Sunfish Lake Park

Townsend Woods SNA

Upper Sioux Agency State Park

Valley View Park, Oak Park Heights

Vermillion Highlands

Whitetail Woods Regional Park

Whitewater State Park

William O’Brien State Park

Wood-Rill SNA

Woodland Trails Park




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