Grey Squirrel

Sciurus carolinensis

  1. Wildlife
  2. Mammals
  3. Grey Squirrel

About

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.

How to identify

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

Where to find it

England and Wales, absent from much of Scotland.

Habitats

When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Introduced from North America in the 1800s, the Grey Squirrel has got a firm grip on life in the UK. It has replaced the endangered, native Red Squirrel in many areas, out-competing it for resources and introducing Squirrel Pox, a disease that is fatal to them. The Wildlife Trusts are working hard to save the Red Squirrel by improving its favoured habitats, controlling Grey Squirrels and being involved in reintroduction schemes. Volunteers are needed to help with everything from surveying to habitat restoration. So why not have a go at volunteering for your local Trust? You'll make new friends, learn new skills and help wildlife along the way.

Species information

Common name
Grey Squirrel
Latin name
Sciurus carolinensis
Category
Mammals
Statistics
Length: 30cm plus a tail of 20cm Weight: 600g Average lifespan: 3 years
Conservation status
Invasive, non-native species.