The local squirrels are in fine and mischievous fettle this spring. The grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) can breed twice per year, with the first mating season beginning in spring. After mating the female will drive the male out of her chosen tree, where she will give birth about 6 weeks later, in a drey on some high branch. The mother will carefully rear her young for about 3 months before chasing out any hangers on and then starting to prepare for her next litter.
Squirrels can make themselves unpopular with foresters by stripping bark from trees. They do this mainly in spring time to get access to the sweet sap beneath. Mind you, bird feeders are of course a very convenient snack bar, laid on solely for the benefit of the squirrels. Mischievous & playful the grey squirrel was introduced to Britain in 1877 from North America. It is about 30cm long with an extra 20cm of tail and can live for up to 8 years.
Foraging is an extremely important part of a squirrel’s life; in autumn they will bury nuts to save them for the winter. They don’t always remember where they put the nuts and so sometimes help the trees by nicely planting a new tree. It’s quite surprising the rate that these little guys can put away the food, read the rest of this post to see a video demonstrating this: