The last time we visited our aunt and uncle in Minnesota, we were mesmerized by the black and albino squirrels skittering around the backyard. Two years later, the yard still had a good population of squirrels, but the black ones were gone and just one albino remained.

There’s a surprising amount of literature devoted to coat color in gray squirrels. Black is apparently one of three color variants found in gray squirrels. As in other animals,  albinism is rare, however, according to one article, albinism in squirrels can run in colonies. I remember one such colony in Verona Park, Verona, N.J., during the 1980s.

ON A LIMB — Albino squirrel clings to the knob of a limb.
VISIBILITY — Albinism is an obvious  summertime disadvantage for tree and ground-dwellers, even ones living in a  somewhat protected environment such as a suburban backyard. Four days after we first saw the squirrel, he appeared with a bloody patch on his chest, a mauled ear and his white coat mottled with blood. He managed to survive his wounds, at least in the short term. Should he survive into the Minnesota winter, the odds are in his favor. 
WELL-MATCHED — Sciurus carolinensis in its normal coloring blends in nicely in the hardwoods.

4 thoughts on “Getting a little squirrelly around here

  1. I’ve only seen one albino squirrel but plenty of black squirrels. The ablino pictured here is beautiful. (We have a plethora of fox squirrels in my neck of the woods. 🙂 )

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