Grey Squirrels

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Body length is 25 cm plus 22 cm of tail. Weight 500gm; both sexes are similar size. The body is adapted for climbing and jumping, with sharp claws for gripping and a long bushy tail for balance. The winter coat is grey above with a white underside; the summer coat is shorter, sleeker and brownish grey above. Red Squirrels have red/brown upper parts in summer but may show some grey on the back in winter, leading to some confusion. Reds are smaller, lighter, have ear tufts, prominent in the winter coat and brown on the legs and tail.
The most serious damage in urban areas arises where Grey Squirrels enter the roof spaces of houses and other buildings by climbing the walls or jumping from nearby trees. Once inside they chew woodwork and ceilings, strip the insulation from electrical wiring, tear up fibreglass insulation to form a drey and sometimes drown in cold water storage tanks.
In the garden they take fruit such as strawberries, apples and plums: raid the nests of small birds and dig holes in lawns to bury food. They frequently raid bird tables and nut feeders, an activity that is welcomed by some householders but causes extreme annoyance to others. If they succeed in chewing through the string holding nut feeders or coconuts these are carried off.
In parks and woodland they damage trees, particularly sycamore and beech, by stripping bark. This can often result in the weakening or death of leading shoots resulting in a misshapen tree ..
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