Fortunate to have them as visitors to my bird feeding station.
No interactions present.
There is no doubt whatsoever that this is a red squirrel but with respect to the comment "it's a squirrel and it is red" it is worth mentioning that grey squirrels can sometimes appear quite reddish although never to the extent shown here. It is certainly not unheard of for inexperienced observers to misidentify greys as red squirrels. The two species of course also differ in terms of size and build (greys being substantially larger)and the fact that the grey squirrel has a two tone tail with a more or less conspicuous pale edge to it.
Sadly in much of England only greys are likely to be encountered whilst in Scotland there are still a few places where the reverse is true. In northern England and southern Scotland both species may be present and it is here that potential confusion can occcur for the unwary.
You are, of course right.
My comment may have been flippant but that is genuinely how I identified it as a red squirrel. Had it been a little paler, or the image was less clear then I would have had to actively look for other evidence such as you suggest.
I am very lucky in living in an area where I can attract reds into my garden. I used to see the odd grey but never closer than about 4 miles South of here. I suspect that their apparent decline is likely to be due to keepers' shotguns and not natural causes. There was one sighting of a grey in the village at the end of last summer but I expect it suffered the same fate as its pals.
"its a squirrel, and it's red", may indeed need a little qualification: but it's short, amusing, and generally correct.
To my mind, the one thing above all else that those of us who study wildlife need is a sense of humour...
A brilliant action shot.
Now tell me - why is no one complaining about this squirrel pinching seed from a bird feeder? There are loads of photos of grey squirrels on bird tables usually with quirries about how the photographer can stop them pinching food from their tables. There are just as many responses involving bevels, cages, grease and shotguns, so why not here?
Signed - Puzzled of Yorkshire.
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I know that your question is rhetorical in that you don't need an answer. However, the situation is even worse; we try to attract them :-)
Lat/Lng: 56.6479, -3.4018
OS grid ref: NO141515
My garden bird table.