In the UK they are common in urban areas, because they are not very fussy about their habitat needs and they do quite well in residential areas where only a few large trees are present.
Food: Grey squirrels feed on acorns, tree shoots, flowers, nuts, fruits, roots and cereals as well as fungi and insects, and occasionally 'birdsí eggs and fledglings. They bury surplus food 2-5cm below the soil or in tree hollows. They feed at ground level, more so than red squirrels, and together with their ability to digest acorns, (which reds can't), they have tended to displace red squirrels in areas of woodland where the two have come into contact.
Breeding: Females produce a litter of 3-7 young (called kittens) generally 2 litters a year, in the spring or late summer, after a gestation period of 42-45 days. The young are weaned after 10 weeks and are independent at 16 weeks.
Distribution - They are widespread throughout England and Wales, south of Cumbria, and are common in local pockets in Scotland. They are absent from the rest of mainland Europe, except for small localised populations in Italy.
Behaviour - Grey squirrels live in a compact, spherical nest (drey), 30-60cm in diameter, with an outer frame of twigs, and dry leaves and grass inside. They are active from before sunrise to after sunset. The peak of activity is in the autumn. Their range covers 2-10 hectares.
Other Characteristics - They do not hibernate over winter, but may be less active when weather conditions are bad. They can hang upside down and they can swim.Oak trees are especially attractive to them and they can supplement this food by using bird feeders in gardens.
Conservation status - Grey squirrels are widespread and not protected in the UK. They are considered a pest of forestry, and are often killed on roads.
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