Red Squirrel Identification, Diet, Habitats & Other Facts

Red squirrels have become rare in the UK with just a few isolated pockets of populations remaining. Due to their specialised diet, loss of habitat and a disease passed on to them by grey squirrels, they have become an endangered species.at risk of extinction.
Red Squirrel sitting in woodland
Red squirrels have become rare in the UK with just a few isolated pockets of populations remaining. Due to their specialised diet, loss of habitat and a disease passed on to them by grey squirrels, they have become an endangered species.at risk of extinction.

Red Squirrel Identification: What does a red squirrel look like?

Length: 20-28cm

Fur is warm reddish-brown, becoming darker in the winter months. The underside is mainly white throughout the year. It has reddish-brown bushy tail and ear tufts, although these may not always be obvious. A true native to the British Isles, it is smaller than the North American Grey Squirrel and the two species are rarely found in the same locations. With its more specialised diet and smaller size it has been driven out of most parts of the country by its larger cousin, finding refuge on the Isle of Wight, Anglesey and some isolated parts of northern England, Wales and Scotland.

Red squirrel illustration for identification

What sound do red squirrels make?

Chattering call is accompanied by vigorous tail flicking.

When to red squirrels breed and reproduce?

Red Squirrels produce 1-2 litters a year between April and September, producing between 3-5 live young.

Where do red squirrels live, and what is their habitat?

Pine forests and parks and occasionally gardens if they have suitable trees.

What do red squirrels eat?

The Red Squirrel feeds almost exclusively on pine seeds and nuts, fungi, bark and sap. They are also occasionally known to take birds eggs. We have a great range of the best nuts for squirrels (including shelled hazelnuts) and a specialised mix of red squirrel food to help attract them to your garden.

Where to feed red squirrels

Ground Feed – Scatter food in the open

Squirrel Feeders

 

External Internet sources/references

Red squirrel conservation
Red squirrel organisations and volunteer groups
Helping red squirrels in your garden – a guide by the Wildlife Trusts

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