Facts about Grey Squirrels

Did you know that the grey squirrel was introduced to Great Britain in the late 19th to early 20th century from the United States of America.

Grey squirrels are considered to be pests, as not only do they strip the bark off trees, pinch bird food and seeds from the feeders in peoples gardens, they also transmit a squirrel-pox virus which kills the red squirrel.

The pox virus doesn’t seem to affect the grey squirrel, and due to the spread of the virus there are only a small number of red squirrels left. There seems to be pockets of reds still holding on in parts of Wales, in areas around mid-wales, Anglesey and the Clocaenog area in North Wales.

The baby grey squirrels leave their drey (a squirrel nest) around the month of May having been taken care of soley by the female.

Squirrels hoard their nuts and seeds in various places around the woodland, ready to be reclaimed when the harsh Winter months begin, as squirrels do not hibernate.

The grey squirrel sometimes features a warm brown colour on their back or flanks, with some even being completely white or black, depending on the genes of their parents.

Squirrels are very cunning and clever as they can decide whether a nut is worth opening or not just by holding it in their palm and judging it’s weight, then it can tell if its worth cracking open the shell and storing the nut.

Also, the only colour a squirrel can see clearly is in yellow, as all other colours equal a shade of grey through their eyes.

And finally, did you know that you can tell if a squirrel is angry or uncertain – if he is angry he will sound out a chuk-chuk-chuk noise and flick its tail up and down, the faster the flick, the angrier it feels. Whereas, if the squirrel swishes his tail from side to side it means it’s feeling uncertain or trying to prepare for a difficult leap.