Sunday, April 04, 2010
Princeton has a long-established population of black squirrels, which are rare outside of the northeast and even here arise in concentrations. These days there is a blog for everything, including one devoted to tracking black squirrel sightings. Consider us logged.
Now, if we could just import a breeding population of these little guys we'd be cooking with gas.
The Aberts squirrels of the western ponderosa forests are black. There is a large population of fox squirrels near Glynco GA that run from the standard orange-brown through piebald versions to pure melanistic variants. Yours looks like a melanistic fox squirrel (Sciurus niger, which name indicates that black variants are not uncommon).
I live in the Cincinnati suburbs, and a northside suburb, Glendale, has the black squirrel as a local icon. Apparently back in the 1930s or 40s a local who had originally come from Michigan imported a bunch of black squirrels, which increased and prospered for some years. Lately, though they seem to have vanished, possibly interbreeding with local beasts.
Marysville Kansas has quite a few of these little critters, you have to watch out when going through town, they think they have the right of way everywhere. They're worse about hopping out in traffic without looking than college students.
I first saw black squirrels when I moved to Arlington VA 20 years ago. I thought they were neat and mentioned them to someone. I soon found out that they were well known around here. I'm afraid your red squirrels wouldn't have much of a chance. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/18/AR2005051802251.html
Princeton has a long-established population of black squirrels, which are rare outside of the northeast and...
Don't know if they're truly black, but I've seen a number of tree squirrels with really dark coats around here in this part of CA. Usually the tree variety are orangeish-reddish and the ground variety are gray.