You might think you know what a red squirrel looks like and indeed, most of the time they're very easy to identify. But there is a wide range of colour variation in red squirrels and some can appear more grey than red. Both reds and greys have a white belly. Here's our simple ID guide to help you decide if it's a red or a grey squirrel that you've seen!




  • Red squirrels moult twice a year, in spring and autumn. In the summer their ear tufts thin out and often disappear completely. The ear tufts and tail often turn paler in the summer.
  • Some red squirrels can actually be black! Melanistic individuals are commonly seen in the eastern part of their European range, particularly in mountainous areas.
  • The species found in the UK is the Eurasian red squirrel but there are various other species of red or red-looking squirrels found around the world.


Learn about red squirrel habitat & distribution

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