Kentucky has three species of tree squirrels: eastern gray (Sciurus carolinensis), northern fox (Sciurus niger), and flying (Glaucomys volans). Gray and fox squirrels are game species, whereas flying squirrels are not a game species. Because flying squirrels seldom cause problems for homeowners, they are not discussed on this website.

The eastern gray squirrel is the most common tree squirrel found in Kentucky. These medium-sized rodents have a bushy tail. They are 16 to 20 inches long and weigh 1 to 2 pounds. Gray squirrels vary in color from gray to brownish gray with a white belly. Completely black (melanistic) and white (albino) forms are also encountered occasionally (FIGURE 1).

The northern fox squirrel is Kentucky's largest tree squirrel. Fox squirrels measure 18 to 27 inches, including their bushy tail, and weigh 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 pounds. Fox squirrels are typically grizzled gray with a touch of yellow or orange upper parts and pale yellow to bright orange underparts. The fox squirrel's tail usually has numerous yellow-tipped hairs, while gray squirrels have white-tipped tail hairs (FIGURE 2).