(Last Updated On: April 15, 2021)

Because of the higher level of testosterone hormone in the body, a black squirrel is more aggressive than an average grey and red squirrel. Interesting to know, a black squirrel is actually a form of a grey squirrel with a defective pigment gene.

Black squirrel facts

In this article, I am going to talk about the Black Squirrel profile, description, habitat, facts, etc.

Distribution

A good number of a natural population of the black squirrel is found throughout Canada and the USA, as well as some of the European part.

Habitat

They prefer to make their den in the holes of the tree, and this helps them to stay safe from any land predators.

Black squirrels like to pass time in the mixed forest. The continuous forest canopy is much preferable so that they can easily forage and travel among the trees, instead of just traveling on the ground. The number of black squirrels is highest in forests and trees.

Trees like oaks, walnuts, and pines are some of the trees that produce fruits and foods that the squirrel can eat and also store for the winter.

The black squirrels can use trees for making their nests with the help of leaves. Additionally, tree holes are also used for the young squirrels.

Three holes are a better option in order to keep them safe in a storm, winter, or extreme temperature.

Description

If a black squirrel has two copies of the mutant gene, it will be jet black. In the eastern squirrel, the gray mating joints cannot produce black lineages.

If it contains a mutant gene and a copy of a common gene, it will be brown-black. In high-density areas of black squirrels, litters of mixed-race individuals are common.

The black squirrel has a maximum length of about 45cm (18 in.), whereas the size of the tail can be up to 20cm (8 in.).

Black squirrels can be 400 to 700 grams (14 – 25 oz.), of body weight. During winter, the black squirrel loses 10% of their body weight.

The black squirrel has a significantly higher cooling tolerance than the gray squirrel.

Black squirrels enjoy the advantage of a better view when viewed from the top in this darkly lit habitat.

As a rare variant of both the eastern gray and fox squirrels, individual black squirrels may be present wherever the gray or fox squirrel lives.

The color of the back squirrel is an awesome adaptation measure for the mammal.

The dark squirrel’s dark complexion helps to better hide from the natural predators, such as owls and thistles of this very thick and shady old forest.

The squirrel is an intelligent swift mammal. They have sharp senses, hearing, eyesight, and smell.

These qualities help the black squirrel to find food, companion, nest, as well as keep them away from predators or any unwanted dangers.

Behavior

The black squirrel is active immediately prior to dawn and shows their stamina ll the day round.

The black squirrel is comparatively rare, adaptable, omnivorous as well as diurnal in nature. They mammal roams around nature all day round as well as at night.

The degree and volume of activities increase during November April, because of the much availability of spring foods. On the other hand, the activities decrease during August/September.

In general, the black squirrels are not aggressive unless there is no cause of danger from the predators, or the risk of loss of territory in case of the advent of new competitors.

However, during the mating seasons, black squirrels can be aggressive.

Males are bigger in size and dominant over competitors as well as females.

However, domination and aggressiveness mainly depends on the size and age of the mammal as well as on the strength of the opponent

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Diet

The black squirrels feed on seeds, nuts, acorns, fruit, insects, and even bird eggs. Apart from natural food, black squirrels may have other food supplements, such as old bones, peanut butter, pecans, pistachios, grapes, apples, sunflower seeds, corn, peanuts, squash, zucchini, plum, pumpkin, strawberries, carrots, snacks.

Predators

Among the black squirrels’ predators, snakes, raccoons, red foxes, grey foxes, bobcats, goshawk, long-eared owls, tawny owls, eagle owls, Ural owls, red and black kites, peregrine falcons, sparrow, hawks, buzzards, pine marten, coyotes, domestic cats, wild cats, domestic dogs, badgers, polecats, weasels, mink, and stoats are significant.

Reproduction

In the advent of the breeding seasons, the females look significantly unstable and concentrate on choosing a partner from the group of suitors.

In the case of the black squirrel, mating takes place from December through January.

She produces scents that the interested males follow. There can be a fight among male competitors to win the female.

The male approach close enough in order to sniff at the base of the female’s tail and the ground on which she had been standing some ago.

He has to chase the female as she runs away from one branch to another in order to make the male curious.

Mating chase can be fast or slow. The courtship may last from one minute to an hour.

By nature, the female black squirrel is polyoestrous, which means it has multiple ovulation cycles each year. She receives only one day during each cycle.

The breeding season spreads from late December to late August yet the reality largely depended on weather and food availability.

The young are born as early as mid-February or up to mid-November.

The female makes special natal drey in order that the kitten can be born here. In the case of squirrel, the male plays no part in the phases related to raising the young.

Gestation can be between 36 and 42 days whereas the litter can be up to 2-5 kittens. Kittens are altricial, meaning they are born blind, naked, deaf, and red in color

The size of the kitten is generally between 10g and 18g during birth. The mother alone feeds the babies up to 50 to 70 days.

Ecology

Squirrels have been playing a strong ecological balance of nature by their prey as well as being the prey in the cyclic order.

Relationship with a human may not be good in most of the case, because of the torment the squirrels do to human by damaging crops, property, roof, fruits, and gardens.

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