An interesting study from the BTO and Natural England suggests that grey squirrels aren't to blame for woodland bird declines.  Nice to know, but not a great surprise really given that many (not all of course) woodland species are declining across Europe and there aren't grey squirrels elsewhere in Europe (apart from part of northern Italy).

It would be possible that woodland bird species decline for different reasons in different parts of Europe but that would make life rather tricky. 

But whether or not grey squirrels cause problems for woodland birds - and you would have to ask whether red squirrels would have caused more or fewer problems if they were still around - the problem that is firmly laid at the door of the introduced non-native grey squirrel is the demise of our native red squirrel.

  • Yes Susan definitely causing decline in Reds as they are immune to some disease but pass it to the Reds who have no immunity and it almost always kills them.

  • They do get a bad press so this is good to know.

    Although, on saying that, I still think 'bad words' when I see them.  In Scotland we're still lucky enough to have good numbers of reds although not here in Ayrshire.

     RSPB Ken Dee Marshes in Galloway is a brilliant place to see the reds. Loads of them and obviously up in the Higlands.  We came across a grey in Garroch Glen nr Dalry in Galloway a while ago and reported it. ( "and reported it", how primary schoolish does that sound -  I;m reporting you. lol) They are slowly moving this way, who knows what will happen. Should they be culled. If the evidence is showing that they are causing the demise of our navtive species well maybe they should.  Would make good carrion. (here I go again)  Goshawks would be delighted

  • Hi Mark interesting that Grey Squirrels innocent of this but they are very destructive and much as I hate to see things culled would in this instance like to see them eradicated and we would soon get the reds back as I see somewhere possibly Anglesey or similar had eradicated the Greys and kept them out and the reds had increased dramatically from small number up to 300 in one year I think(some of this might be wrong but the facts similar)happy for anyone to put it correct.Sad that the Grey are a introduction escapee that went badly wrong.No sly dig there just a sad fact as we had them strip bark off Sycamore trees half way up and of course killed the trees above that.