Grey Squirrel Sciurus carolinensis

One of our most familiar mammals, Grey Squirrels can be found in woods, gardens and parks, often proving to be very tame. They are frequent visitors to gardens with bird tables and feeders, becoming a pest for many bird-lovers. Grey Squirrels feast on hazelnuts by cracking the shell in half. You may also find pine cones that have been nibbled, leaving what looks like an apple core behind. Squirrels make a rough nest, called a 'drey', of twigs, leaves and strips of bark in the fork of a branch, high in the tree canopy.

Behaviour

Easily distinguished from the Red Squirrel by its larger size, grey fur and ears without tufts.

Size

Length: 30cm plus a tail of 20cm Weight: 600g Average lifespan: 3 years

Status

Invasive, non-native species.

Distribution

England and Wales, absent from much of Scotland.

When to see

Jan – Dec

Facts

Grey Squirrels are renowned for their agility, adept climbing and cunning – they can crack open birdfeeders and run along tight-rope washing lines to get at their nutty prize. Gardeners should look out for squirrel-proof feeders and add a little chilli to their bird food – the birds don't mind, but squirrels don't like the burning sensation!

Common name

Grey Squirrel

Species name

Sciurus carolinensis

When to see in Scotland

Jan – Dec

Subscribe to our e-newsletter to keep up to date with the Scottish Wildlife Trust 

[DISPLAY_ULTIMATE_PLUS]
Back to top