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UK Nature > Mammals > Grey Squirrel




Scientific Name: Sciurus carolinensis
Common Name: Grey Squirrel

Sciurus carolinensis, otherwise known as the Grey Squirrel, has a head and body measuring 25-30cm, with the tail up to 25cm. Back and tail always grey, although flanks sometimes may have a reddish tinge. White undersides. Eats nuts, especially acorns and hazel nuts; other fruits, buds and young twigs; strips bark to eat nutritious tissue below; also eats insects, birds eggs and nestlings, and regularly 'steals' from bird tables and bird feeders.

A serious forest pest, also damaging garden and orchard trees. Diurnal, keeping mainly to the trees. Neatly split hazel nut shells and roughly chewed cones litter feeding sites. Mixed woodland, orchards, parks and gardens. A North American animal, introduced to the British Isles late in the 19th century and now common all over England and Wales, where it has largely replaced the native Red Squirrel; less common in Scotland and Ireland.











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