High Fashion Squirrel?

artwhiz47

Hamburg, United States

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Somewhere along the line, something new has been added. We have our share of Eastern Grays & North American Reds in our squirrely population, & the occasional black individual (the melanistic phase of the Eastern Gray, just another Sciurus carolinensis, as it were), but this critter showed up this evening in pursuit of one of our regular females, & he was a new one on us.

Having said that… black squirrels are fairly common in certain parts of the Eastern Gray’s range, especially not far from us in Ontario, & these odd colorations are not unknown by any means, but most examples that show up on the internet have much redder tails than this fellow does. The remarkable contrast between this blond netherworld & the sleek & shiny black rest-of-him gave us pause when we first saw him. When we first got a good look at him, he was coming down a tree right outside our dining room window… looked a bit like night & day.

A look at this photo of our little Hedgy, who disappeared about three years ago after entertaining us mightily for a season, shows that his tail was edged in blond. There is a very remote possibility that this IS Hedgy, though it’s unlikely. This newcomer was, however, quite tame, & not averse to grabbing the peanut that Ray tossed his way. While his lady-friend/conquest, Chunk, went off with her usual TWO peanuts, he hung around the back door for a short time & did come back for another peanut-go-round. Then he made his way back across the lawn to our thicket, looking exactly like Hedgy when he exited for the last time three Springs ago… except for that remarkable tail, which looked like nothing else in the world. It’s also possible that this is a descendant of Hedgy’s. In fact, in the squirrely world, almost anything is possible.

He is NOT a hybrid… no Fox squirrels around here, no other potentially guilty parties. He’s quite small (as was Hedgy, though Hedgy’s father, Hamburg Blackie, was a regular-sized Gray).

What ever his origins, he’s brilliant, he’s friendly, he’s a beauty,

10 June 2014 ~ Hamburg, NY

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