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Help & Reference : Learn About Nature : Reference Guide : Mammals : Grey Squirrel

Grey Squirrel

Common name: Grey Squirrel

Also known as: Eastern Gray Squirrel, tree squirrel or tree rat
Scientific name: Sciurus carolinensis
Size: 24-26cm long (body) 19-24cm long (tail)
Weight: 450-650g
Colour: Upper fur grey, mid-brown along upper back, chestnut on limbs & feet. Belly is white. Tail is grey, with some brown and black with a white tip.
Life span: Up to 7 years in wild


A small furry grey mammal with a very large bushy tail. Mostly seen bouncing around on garden lawns and stealing food from bird feeders! They have very sharp teeth and claws and large dark eyes.


These mammals are NOT native to the UK, but were introduced into approx. 30 sites in England, Scotland and Wales between 1876-1930. They originally come from the USA/Canada.


Seeds, buds, shoots, nuts, flowers, berries, fruit, fungi, insects and sometimes birds eggs and young fledglings.


Mainly living in areas with mature trees. In our garden in Corfe Mullen we seem to be over-run with squirrels!

Did you know

They can swim.

They have pushed our native Red Squirrel out of most of it's original habitats in the UK.

Their young are called kittens. They are born with their eyes closed, bald and toothless. Within seven weeks they are fully grown and ready to leave their nest of twigs, moss and leaves (drey) which is usually high up in a tree.

They bury nuts in the autumn, but do not remember where they have buried them. They rely on their sense of smell to find them!



Grey Squirrel