Tree Squirrel Vs Ground Squirrel

Tree squirrel vs ground squirrel, both are from the same family and are two main types of squirrels. Except this, there are hundreds more types of them. People need clarification while figuring out their differences because they are the same species. And both are sometimes on the tree or the ground, so in this way, people can only guess the difference between these two.

Although they look similar, the person unfamiliar with them will need help to tell the difference between them. But today, we will figure out their main and unique differences, and let’s see how far they differ. The difference we will describe will make it easier for you to distinguish between them. The main differences between a tree squirrel and a ground squirrel are their size, habitat, and color. Even more than that, we will focus on their other characteristics also.

Tree Squirrel Vs Ground Squirrel Main Differences

Tree Squirrel Vs Ground Squirrel Main Differences

Habitat and Environment

Tree Squirrel:Ground Squirrel:
Tree squirrels’ habitat includes both urban and suburban areas and forests. Mostly, they search for food in the woods. They try to build their nest on the high top of a tree or where predators do not threaten them. Also, they will make their nest in tree hollows and attics. Moreover, they prefer to build nests on oak trees because they are big trees and live more safely there, and the predators can’t reach them. Also, oak trees provide tree squirrels with an abundance of cover, so they prefer it the most.Ground squirrels are primarily found in open areas such as pastures, rocky outcrops, fields, woodlands, hillsides, meadows, and commercial buildings. They also live in grassland areas such as parks, playgrounds, and golf courses. They dig underground burrows that are around 4 inches in diameter for sleeping. 

So, habitat is the big difference between tree squirrel vs ground squirrel. As you have seen, tree squirrels live on trees, while ground squirrels dig burrows for sleeping and living.

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Size and Appearance

Tree Squirrel:Ground Squirrel:
Tree squirrels have dark gray fur with interlace sections of paler gray color: gray, red, brown, and black. There are many species of tree squirrels, such as red squirrels, eastern gray squirrels, and pine squirrels. All have different body sizes and weights, but the average size of tree squirrels is between 7 to 8 inches long, and long tails are around 5-6 inches long. The average weight of tree squirrels is approximately 1-1.5 lb.Ground squirrels are long bodies rodents with brownish-gray fur with short bushy tails, and they are gray or brown. But their tails are not bushy like tree squirrels, or they have semi-bushy tails. They have short legs, sturdy claws, and small rounded ears. They can measure between 7 to 30 inches in height and length around 7-20 inches. The weight of ground squirrels is between 0.09 to 24 pounds.

Size is also the significant difference between tree squirrel vs ground squirrel. So whatever we said, this proves that the ground squirrel is bigger than the tree squirrel.

Diet

Tree Squirrel:Ground Squirrel:
Tree squirrels will like to eat acorns, walnuts, and different fruits. In winter, they will also eat berries, fungi, corn, and seasonal fruits as they live on trees, so they will also like to eat flowers, tree bark, and wild tree fruits.Ground squirrels will eat grasses and other herbaceous plants. They will also like to eat dry fruits such as nuts, seeds, grains, and different fruits. You can also feed them this food as they enjoy it a lot.

Well, there is not much difference between tree squirrel vs ground squirrel in the diet, but as ground squirrel lives on the ground, they are not able to eat tree food as tree squirrels can. Except for this, they both have the same food.

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Acculturation

Tree Squirrels:Ground Squirrel:
As we said before, tree squirrels live on trees, and they live alone and prefer it too. They spend most of their time on trees, which is why they are not social animals. And they don’t desire to live between people or to inhabit social life.As you know, ground squirrels live on the ground, and it is usual to stay between people or survive social life. Moreover, they live in colonies that are based on a social scale.

So acculturation is also the major difference between tree squirrel vs ground squirrel as tree squirrels live on trees, so they don’t prefer social life. On the other side, ground squirrels live on the ground, so it is common for them to adapt and live to social life.

Tail

Tree Squirrel:Ground Squirrels:
Tree squirrels have long fluffy tails whose color is gray or dark brown. The average length of their tail is around 7.5 to 10 inches long, depending upon the species. So these squirrels have bushy tails.Ground squirrels have short, rounded, and semi-fluffy tails. The color of their tail is light beige. 

So the tail is also the difference between tree squirrel vs ground squirrel. Tree squirrels have pure bushy and long tails, while ground squirrels’ tails are not fluffy as tree squirrels. So looking at the tails, you can easily tell the difference between these two.

Lifespan

Tree Squirrel:Ground Squirrel:
Tree squirrels can naturally live around ten years if they aren’t killed by any predator in the wild, while in captivity, they can live up to 20 years.Ground squirrels can live up to 3 to 4 years in the wild, but some can live up to 6 years, while in captivity, they can live up to 10 years.

Lifespan is also the significant difference between tree squirrel vs ground squirrel. Tree squirrels can live more than ground squirrels, or they can live a double life than them.

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FAQs

1- Can a ground squirrel climb a tree?

Yes, ground squirrels can climb on trees. But they have not adapted to trees, so they are rarely seen in trees as they live in burrows.

2- Do ground squirrels hibernate?

Yes, ground squirrels hibernate in winter as they are pure hibernating animals. While hibernating, they will eat, sleep, and care for their young.

3- Do tree squirrels hibernate?

No, they don’t hibernate. However, they seem rare during the winter. They will find a hollow tree, or you will find the whole family in the dreys. These dreys are usually tree squirrels’ nests made of twigs and dry leaves.

4- Do tree squirrels live in groups?

Adult tree squirrels mostly live alone, but in winter, they live in groups in their dreys. 

5- What are the predators of tree squirrels?

Wild animals, including hawks, snakes, owls, foxes, and wild dogs, are the top predators of tree squirrels. 

Conclusion

Despite being from the same family, tree squirrels and ground squirrels are different. Most of the people went into confusion while recognizing both of them. But this is not surprising as a new or unknown person can’t know whether it is a tree squirrel or ground squirrel. To remove this confusion, we have explained it all very clearly. After reading this blog, hopefully, you will have no trouble identifying these two. 

Most people think the two are the same, but once they are thoroughly examined, anyone can get confused in identifying them. But we have also removed this confusion and explained the difference between the two simply, making it easier for you to understand.

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