Distribution: Native to North America. Introduced to Great Britain, Ireland.
Habitat: Prefers mature deciduous woodland but also common in parks and gardens in towns and cities.
Description: Winter fur is dense and silvery grey with a brown tinge along the middle of the back. Summer fur is yellowish-brown. White underparts. Bushy, grey tail. Ears without tufts.
Size: Head and body about 25 – 30cm; tail about 20 – 25cm. Weight: 350-600g.
Life-span: Some live up to 10 years in the wild although most only manage 3-4 years.
Food: Hazelnuts, acorns, beech mast, tree bark, fungi, buds, leaves, shoots, flowers; will also raid birds’ nests for eggs and young.
Population: The grey squirrel was introduced to Great Britain in the mid-19th century and after many releases it began to increase dramatically at the beginning of this century, mainly spreading from Woburn Park, Bedfordshire. They came to England from North America and are now one of Britain’s most well-known and frequently seen mammals, with an estimated population of 2 million. They are much more common than the native red squirrel who’s population is estimated at just 140,000.
The grey squirrel is diurnal and most active at dawn and dusk, searching for available food. Compared with the red squirrel, it spends more time foraging and feeding on the ground than in the trees. It is, however, very agile in the trees and can run along slender twigs, leaping from tree to tree. The long, muscular hind legs and short front legs help it to leap. The hind feet, longer than the front, are double-jointed to help the squirrel scramble head first up and down the tree trunk. Sharp claws are useful for gripping bark and the tail helps the squirrel to balance. If a squirrel should fall, it can land safely from heights of about 9m (30ft). The grey squirrel can leap more than 6 metres!
Contact Stop that Pest Birmingham, if your experiencing problems with squirrels