Edmund Rice Primary School title_pwork.gif (1797 bytes)
Our School
Our Town
Meet the Staff
Blessed Edmund Rice
American Friends
Stellar Project
Our Tayto Website
Our visit to Microsoft
Pupils Workoff_sport.gif (1037 bytes)

What's New
Contact Us

The Grey Squirrel (Iora Glas) --: The grey squirrel is a small bushy-tailed tree living animal. They are not native to Ireland but were brought in from outside. When fully grown it is 50cm. long from head to the tip of its tail. It has pale grey fur and its underside is usually white. The grey squirrel was brought in from North America to Ireland about 65 years ago. It is bigger and thought to be more aggressive than the red squirrel. When the grey squirrel comes into an area, it usually chases out the red squirrel, as they are tougher.  When caught, it can give a vicious bite. 

The coat is a steel grey colour in winter but there may be a reddish ling along its legs in the summer. It’s nest, which is called a drey, is untidier looking than the red squirrel’s nest. The nest is built in a tree that looses its leaves in winter and because of this it is easily seen when the tree is bare in winter. The dreys are lined with moss and straw, and unlike birds nests have a roof over them.

Some grey squirrels have been known to use hollow trees, old nests and even rabbit holes for their dreys. The dreys are lined with moss and straw and, unlike most birds nests, they have a roof on them. Grey squirrels are active by day and spend most of their time in trees. There are more grey squirrels in the east of Ireland than in the west. It is more than likely this is because thee are more broadleaf forests in the east of the country than in the west of Ireland. Our present population is said to be descended from animals released in Castleforbes, County Longford about the year 1911. Although, Castleforbes is on the river Shannon and grey squirrels are good swimmers, they do not appear to have moved into Connaught (this is a province of Ireland in the west of the country). 

The grey squirrel has spread east from Longford to Monaghan, Cavan, Meath, Westmeath, Laois, Offaly, Fermanagh and it is also believed to be in Armagh.  This squirrel has much the same habits as the red squirrel except that it is a little more daring and leaves the forest at times in search of food among the hedgerows and fields, especially in Autumn. Neither red squirrels nor grey squirrels hibernate. They eat a wide variety of food, which includes seeds, fruit, berries and the bark and shoots of trees. In winter they rest for long periods, living on the body fat they built up during the summer. They are very good climbers, though not as fast as the red squirrel. They can also swim. They are very nosey animals and are easily trapped by hunters.Two litters are born each year, in late February and in July, normally having three or four young to each litter.

The young leave the drey after about seven to eight weeks. They cause damage in deciduous forests by stripping the bark from trees. It is also said that they rob pheasant eggs and young chicks, which makes gamekeepers very angry.

We have a stuffed squirrel in our classroom. It is a red squirrel and was knocked down by my teacher and he got him stuffed. He is the class mascot.

Michael Lawlor 
Third Class