A squirrel shaking his tail at me when he thought I was getting too close. Taken in a park near the Capitol Building in Washington D.C.
Canon EOS 40D. canon EF 70-300mmIS lens
Depending on your perspective, Washington, DC is either plagued or blessed by its ubiquitous squirrel community. The Washington Post ran a fun little feature on the history of this national institution, tracing the local squirrel population back to its roots in the early 20th century. Native to the area, the Eastern Gray Squirrel had been hunted out of the downtown area by the turn of the 20th century. Around this time, hunting downtown was finally banned and simultaneously, as a Post headline read at the time, “Several Pairs of Interesting Little Animals were Set Free Among the Trees” in Lafayette Park and the U.S. Capitol. A 1906 Congressional report found that the release of the squirrels “shows how much public interest is aroused in work of this kind.” (1906 must’ve been a slow year for Congress.) Included in this group were 18 black squirrels, native to Canada, who currently constitute approximately 20% of the DC squirrel population. Today there are more Squirrels in D.C. than in any other US city.