We always have two or three grey squirrels living in the garden and we have come to accept them as a pain but with as much right to live as the birds.
But in the last month they have been behaving unusually, stripping the bark from the ash branches I can see from my window.
Are they sharpening their teeth, or just eating the bark and the pith below? This is the first year I haven’t put out whole peanuts for them, only kibbled peanuts for the birds, so are they lacking something in their diet or are their dental work-outs not rigorous enough?
After they have laid bare the white pith of the tree, bluetits are attracted to it. Is it because the moisture draws small insects?
All part of nature’s rich tapestry…
And here’s the answer to the mystery, from June via a comment:
Hello, your Squirrel is collecting nesting material as it’s coming into their breeding season soon, look out for several squirrels chasing 1 squirrel, the 1 at the front is the female.
The bluetit is attracted to the rising sap which will be oozing out of the damaged bark.
Squirrels bark-stripping trees can eventually kill off the tree if the damage is too great, you could try providing alternative material for your squirrel such as, straw, hay, dried leaves or even shredded paper.