Red squirrels in Cairngorms National Park, Highlands
© Scotland: The Big Picture/Minden Picture
Enjoying fruits of the forest. Red squirrels
Red squirrels have had a tough time of it over the past hundred years or so, largely due to pressure from the bigger, non-native greys, which carry a disease which is fatal to reds. But here in the Cairngorms National Park, the red squirrel population is growing. Efforts are made to keep grey squirrels out and the park’s ancient Caledonian Pine Forests provide reds with the perfect habitat.
It's not just nuts they snack on. Red squirrels eat fruit, flowers, bulbs, birds' eggs, insects and more. They'll feast on deer antlers too for a calcium boost. But their favourite dish is the seeds of conifer trees. It's estimated that one squirrel consumes seeds from about 20,000 cones each year. That's a lot for a creature which weighs in at about 11oz (300g).