If you have squirrels in your garden they can be great fun to watch, but they can damage or interfere with your Bird Feeders One of the simplest things you can do is to give squirrels their own supply of Squirrel Food. If they have their own easily accessible Squirrel Feeder they are less likely to steal from your Bird Food, allowing both species to co-exist.
Grey squirrels in history
Grey squirrels are not native to the UK and were introduced from the USA in the late nineteenth/early twentieth century. They have successfully spread and can now be found throughout England and Wales, south of Cumbria, and are also common in some areas of Scotland.
They are reputed to be carriers of the poxvirus which affects our native red squirrel. Greys are resistant to this disease and are also often able to out-compete reds for foods and habitats. This has led to a decline in the much-loved red squirrels and greys are therefore seen as imposters and pests.
Squirrels in gardens
Whatever your opinion on grey squirrels, you can't say they're not persistent! Their antics, both entertaining and frustrating, are one of the main gripes garden birdwatchers have. Many enjoy the odd grey squirrel in their garden but the sight of hungry hordes descending on feeders can be less than thrilling, especially as they can be destructive and freely fill up on the seeds and peanuts put out for birds.
Like all animals, squirrels want the best food from the easiest place and your plastic feeder is an invitation few can resist.
If you have squirrels in your garden there are many ways that you can limit the damage and interference they can cause, such as choosing a metal feeder and/or adding deterrent accessories.
One of the simplest things you can do though is to give squirrels their own supply of food. If they have their own easily accessible feeder they are less likely to steal from and damage your bird feeders, allowing both species to co-exist in your garden. All they have to do is lift the lid and take food out as required.
Grey Squirrels: facts and figures
- They live up to 9 years.
- Adults typically weigh between 400 and 600g.
- As well as the obvious colour differences you can also distinguish reds from greys by their overall body size (greys are larger).
- They are common in woodland, hedgerows, parks and gardens.
- They feed on a variety of plant matter including acorns, flowers, nuts, fruits, roots and seeds.