Grey Squirrels Vs Red Squirrels – Full Comparison

There are two types of squirrels that live in North America: the red squirrel and the grey squirrel.

Both species of squirrel have their own unique set of characteristics which sets them apart from one another, but there are also a number of similarities between the two.

We will compare and contrast the two types of squirrels, highlighting both their similarities and differences.

Differences and similarities between red and grey squirrels

Both red and grey squirrels are popular animals in North America, but they have a number of differences which set them apart from one another.

The most notable difference is their appearance, with red squirrels typically being reddish-brown in color and grey squirrels being predominantly gray or black.

  • Appearance – Red and grey squirrels both have bushy tails and large ears, but they differ in terms of coloration. Red squirrels are typically reddish-brown in color, while grey squirrels are predominantly gray or black.
  • Habitat – Grey squirrels are more adaptable than red squirrels when it comes to habitat, and can be found in a wider range of environments including forests, parks, gardens and even urban areas. Red squirrels prefer coniferous forests as their natural habitat.
  • Diet – Both red and grey squirrels mainly eat nuts, but the former also consumes berries, insects and other small animals while the latter has been known to eat bird eggs on occasion.
  • Nesting Behavior – Red Squirrels build nests out of twigs high up in trees, while grey squirrels build nests (known as ‘dreys’) out of leaves and branches close to the ground.
  • Size – Red squirrels are typically smaller than grey squirrels, with an average body length of 9-10 inches (22-25 cm). Grey squirrels can grow up to 18 inches (46 cm) in body length.
  • Behavior – One of the most noticeable differences between red and grey squirrels is their behavior. Red squirrels are more timid and tend to stay away from humans, while grey squirrels are more curious and will often approach people for food.
  • Lifespan – The lifespan of a red squirrel is typically shorter than that of a grey squirrel, with most red squirrels living for between 2-5 years in the wild. Grey squirrels can live for up to 10 years in the wild.
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Despite their differences, red and grey squirrels do have a few things in common. Both animals are popular in North America, and both typically eat a diet of nuts and seeds.

They also share similar nesting behaviors, building nests out of twigs (for red squirrels) or leaves and branches (for grey squirrels).

Difference between red and grey squirrels

There are many different types of squirrels in the world, but two of the most common are the red squirrel and the grey squirrel. Though they may look similar, there are several key differences between these two types of squirrels.

Red Squirrels:

  • Typically have a reddish brown fur.
  • Are smaller than grey squirrels.
  • Have a bushy tail which is edged in black.
  • Live in coniferous forests.
  • Are solitary animals that do not hibernate.
  • Eat mostly nuts, seeds, and berries.

Grey Squirrels:

  • Typically have a grey or black fur.
  • Are larger than red squirrels.
  • Have a flat tail which is not edged in black.
  • Live in deciduous and mixed forests.
  • Are social animals that hibernate during winter months.
  • Eat mostly tree bark, acorns, and other nuts.

Though they may look similar, there are several key differences between red and grey squirrels as you can see above.

Do red squirrels and grey squirrels get along?

One reason why red squirrels and grey squirrels may not get along is because they have different dietary needs. Red squirrels are mainly herbivores, while grey squirrels are omnivores and eat both plants and animals.

This difference in diet could lead to competition for food resources.

Another reason why red squirrels and grey squirrels may not get along is because they have different mating habits.

Grey squirrels mate twice a year, while red squirrels only mate once a year. This could lead to tension between the two species over territory or potential mates.

Another possible reason for why red squirrels and grey squirrels don’t get along is because grey squirrels carry a virus that can kill red Squirrels.

The virus is called Sciurus carolinensis-albiovirus (SCAV), and it was first discovered in the early 1990s. It is believed that this virus originated from pet grey squirrels that were imported from other countries.

While there are several reasons why red squirrels and grey squirrels may not get along, there is also some evidence to suggest that they can coexist peacefully.

For example, in a study conducted in Scotland, it was found that red squirrels and grey squirrels often shared the same trees and nests. The study also found that the two species of squirrels did not seem to compete for food or mates.

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Overall, the relationship between red squirrels and grey squirrels is still unclear. There is some evidence to suggest that they can get along, but there is also evidence to suggest that they don’t.

More research is needed in order to determine whether or not these two species can truly coexist.

Are red squirrels aggressive?

Red squirrels are not aggressive animals, but they will defend their territory if they feel threatened. They have been known to attack dogs and other larger animals that enter their space, but for the most part, red squirrels are docile creatures.

If you are considering keeping one as a pet, be sure to do your research beforehand to make sure that you can provide a safe and comfortable environment for your new furry friend.

The pros and cons of having grey squirrels in your garden

The pros and cons of having grey squirrels in your garden are debated hotly by many people. Some people love the little critters because they add an element of nature to their gardens, while others hate them because they steal bird food and can be quite destructive.

The pros of having grey squirrels in your garden are that they are incredibly cute and can add a touch of whimsy to your yard.

They are also relatively easy to take care of, as they will eat just about anything. If you have a bird feeder, the squirrels may even help themselves to the bird food, which can save you money.

Additionally, these animals are very active and their antics can provide hours of entertainment.

The cons of having grey squirrels in your garden include the fact that they can be destructive. They have been known to dig up bulbs and chew through electrical wires.

Additionally, if you have a bird house in your garden, the squirrels may take over and chase away the birds. Finally, some people simply don’t like the look of these animals and find them to be a nuisance.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to welcome grey squirrels into your garden is a personal one. If you love animals and don’t mind a little destruction, then these creatures may be right for you.

However, if you prefer a neat and tidy garden, free of critters, then it might be best to keep them out.

What to do if you find a baby grey squirrel

If you find a baby grey squirrel, the best thing to do is to leave it alone. Grey squirrels are very common in North America, and as a result, many people know how to take care of them.

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Baby squirrels are usually left alone by their parents, so if you find one that’s been separated from its family, the best thing you can do is leave it be.

It’s likely that the parents are nearby and will come back for the baby when they’re ready.

If the baby squirrel is in immediate danger, however, you can gently pick it up and move it to a safer location.

Do not attempt to care for the baby yourself, as this can be dangerous for both you and the squirrel. Instead, contact a local wildlife rehabilitation center or animal shelter for help.

How to tell the difference between a grey squirrel and a red squirrel

There are many types of squirrels in the world, but two of the most common are the grey squirrel and the red squirrel. While they may look similar, there are a few key ways to tell them apart.

The Grey Squirrel

The grey squirrel is the most common type of squirrel in North America. They are typically light brown or grey in color, with a black stripe running down their spine.

They weigh about 500 grams (1 pound) and measure about 35 centimeters (14 inches) in length. Grey squirrels live in trees and build nests out of leaves, twigs, and branches.

They eat mostly nuts and seeds, but can also survive on other insects, fruits, and vegetables.

Grey squirrels are considered pests by many people because they often enter homes looking for food or shelter. They can also damage property by gnawing on woodwork, wiring, or pipes.

The Red Squirrel

Red squirrels are much less common than grey squirrels, found mainly in Europe and Asia. They are smaller than grey squirrels, weighing only about 250 grams (0.5 pounds) and measuring about 25 centimeters (10 inches) in length.

They have reddish-brown fur, with a white underside and a black stripe running down their spine. Red squirrels live in trees and build nests out of twigs and leaves.

They eat mostly nuts and seeds, but can also survive on other insects, fruits, and vegetables.

Red squirrels are not considered pests as they do not typically enter homes looking for food or shelter. However, they can damage property by gnawing on woodwork, wiring, or pipes.

The easiest way to tell the difference between a grey squirrel and a red squirrel is by their size. Grey squirrels are much larger than red squirrels.