A red squirrel is a species of squirrel that has an average size of a head-and-body length of 19-23 centimeters and a tail length of 15-20 centimeters.


Seeds, fungi, nuts, berries, young shoots, and bird eggs make up the diet of the red squirrel.


  • The red squirrel is protected in most of Europe (listed in the Appendix III of the Bern Convention)
  • The red squirrel population has decreased in the UK, the number of individuals is thought to be 120,000 with 75% of this population living in Scotland
  • The average size of a red squirrel is 19-23 cm, head to body with an average tail length of 15-20 cm
  • Red Squirrels weigh between 250 and 240g
  • It is thought that the long tail helps the squirrel to keep its balance and steer when it is jumping from tree to tree, it may also keep the animal warm whilst it sleeps
  • Red squirrels shed their coats twice a year switching between a thinner coat in summer and a darker, thicker winter coat
  • Mating occurs in February and March and in summer between June and July.
  • Average size litters are 3-4 but can be as large as 6
  • Gestation periods for squirrels is about 38-39 days
  • Squirrels have multiple partners and mate many times during their lives
  • The lifespan of a red squirrel is on average 3 years although in captivity they have been known to live for 10 years
  • The nest of a squirrel is known as a drey
  • Despite the solitary nature of the red squirrels, outside of the breeding seasons they sometimes will share dreys in order to keep warm
  • The dominant animals in the squirrel communities are normally the largest, dominance is not related to sex
  • Red squirrels eat seeds of trees, fungi, bird’s eggs, berries and young shoots
  • 60-80% of the active period may be spent foraging and feeding
  • Excess food is put into caches or buried in holes or nooks in the trees and eaten when food is scarce
  • Red squirrels can not remember where they created caches, they have to search for them when in need and many caches are never found again