• Wildlife Friendly Otley

GREY SQUIRREL

Updated: Dec 9, 2020


Another occupant, perhaps, of the Wildlife Rogues’ Gallery, but let’s not over-anthropomorphise this animal. They may not be your favourite cute mammal, with their determined consumption of the goodies you intend for the birds, and it is undoubtedly a shame that they have displaced the Red Squirrel, but in their native North America they are ecologically essential, as a natural forest regenerator. It was the planet’s most destructive animal that brought them to these islands in the 19th century, as fashionable additions to estates, and once again we upset nature’s delicate balance. Grey Squirrels have astounding agility and they are one of the few mammals that can descend a tree head-first. At the moment they can often be seen on the ground, hoarding plentiful nuts and seeds for the harder times ahead. They create several thousand of these caches each season, and have a very accurate spatial memory with which to retrieve them. If they feel they are being watched by a competitor, they will pretend to bury the nut.


Photo by Pixabay

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