Mammal Identification

Red Squirrel Sciurus vulgaris

Identification features

Photo: Steve Lonsdale

  • Small mammal which stands on its back feet when eating
  • Long bushy tail which is about half as thick as body width
  • Body fur is red which is white/creamy underneath
  • Has distinctive ear tufts in winter
  • Fast running mammal which scurries up and down trees, rarely seen on the ground (except where they are being fed)

Red squirrels are rodents and eat pinecone seeds and nuts. They were last recorded in Derbyshire in the Derwent Valley in the early 1990s.

Other identification clues


Squirrels make their nests (dreys) in the crooks of tree branches. Dreys are built against the trunk in an angle and are made of leaves and dead twigs (Rooks and magpies use dead twigs but not leaves)

Feeding remains

Squirrels split hazelnuts and acorns and leave rough often jagged edges. Pine cones are stripped leaving the top sections untouched.

Status in Derbyshire information

Photos: Steve Lonsdale