Red (Gray Squirrels?) of Austin Texas

I am a resident of Austin, Texas. I live in an urban area with woodland park access and plenty of trees, and see a lot of gregarious squirrels, body size hard to estimate. These squirrels run when approached, play constantly, and seem to congregate in areas with oaks and places to hide. There are typically around 10-15 in my backyard searching the ground when the dogs aren’t out, and they often chase each other and play together. I had presumed they were gray squirrels, but their coat pattern seems a lot more like fox squirrels- a mixture of an orangey brown, especially on the tail and stomach, and gray. I’ve seen a lot of identifications of fox squirrels coming from my area, but I’m not entirely sure this is accurate- the squirrels are colored like fox squirrels, but behave much more like gray squirrels. Is this a different color morph/subspecies, or just a population of behaviorally strange fox squirrels?

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Welcome to the Forum!

I don’t know much about the behavioral aspect of squirrel species, I assume they all behave somewhat similarly. I’d recommend uploading an image to the site, and that way you can get a habitus identification, which will help you figure out the behavioral aspect.

I have lived in neighborhoods that have both gray and fox squirrels running around the yards. I would not say there is a huge difference in behavior, certainly nothing I would base an ID on.

Based on a search of Sciurus records from Travis Co. TX, looks like you have both species present but there are a lot more Fox Squirrel records than Eastern Gray. Fox Squirrels can be variable in belly color, not sure what they look like in Austin.

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