Cream colored tree squirrel


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gbran
January 29, 2006, 10:54 PM
Was up in the mountains hunting quail and grey tree squirrels. We were leaving the hunting area and in an area we couldn't shoot when I saw a near albino tree squirrel. Actually it was more of a light cream color from head to toe and tip of its bushy tail. There was no variation, it was just one solid cream color like vanilla ice cream. I've seen and heard of other animals that were albino, but never a squirrel like this. Wish I had a camera.

BTW, we got 7 mountain quail, 10 valley quail and 6 grey squirrels.

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Oldnamvet
January 29, 2006, 11:28 PM
Ummm. Not to sound stupid but what is the difference between a mountain and valley quail -- other than where you found them?

gbran
January 29, 2006, 11:42 PM
Mountain quail are many times larger and not as numerous. Most of the quail in our mountains are valley quail, but we commonly run into coveys of mountain quail. The mountains where I hunt are the lower sierra's just above Bakersfield CA. I usually hunt near the 5,000 to 6,000 foot altitude.

MCgunner
January 30, 2006, 12:25 AM
All's we got down here are grey (aka Cat) squirrels and red (aka Fox) squirrels. Ain't never seen no cream colored one. You got any nuke plants in the area???? Er, does it glow in the dark????:D

joebogey
January 30, 2006, 12:33 AM
My cousin hand fed an albino for some time here in KY.
He suddenly disappeared from the tree and they had no idea where he went.

silverlance
January 30, 2006, 01:53 AM
we got 7 mountain quail, 10 valley quail and 6 grey squirrels.

i hope you ate all 23 of those critters. :scrutiny:

Scottmkiv
January 30, 2006, 02:08 AM
I had a family of blond tree squirrels that lived in an old house of mine. THey were the kind that is supposed to be red.

Nematocyst
January 30, 2006, 02:45 AM
I had a family of blond tree squirrels that lived in an old house of mine. Blond? They were probably from LA and chattered like valley girls.

Sorry, poor attempt at humor. :o Hey, it's Sunday night and I'm bored.

Nem

birddog
January 30, 2006, 08:35 AM
Yes! I've seen only one and I have a picture of it to prove it. It was in Fort Niagara State Park in upstate NY. I'll scan my files for the pic tonight and post it here. Not a true albino, just very creamy white with normal-colored eyes. Looked like a mini-polar-bear running through the park.

I'll post the pic later.

Chawbaccer
January 30, 2006, 08:39 AM
I got some coal black squirrels here in my yard, I am told that they are a varient of grey squirrles.

Matt G
January 30, 2006, 10:40 AM
http://albinosquirrel.com/about.html

http://www.scarysquirrel.org/campus/ut/

We had albino squirrels all over UT Austin while I was a student. I see that they're still there.

Owen
January 30, 2006, 11:45 AM
silverlance said,

i hope you ate all 23 of those critters.

I sure gbran has access to modern food processing equipment, like refrigerators, to ensure that his harvest does not go to waste.

Quail are tiny. I usually eat 3 or 4 at a sitting. Sounds like he got enough critters for 1 meal for a family of 5.

one-shot-one
January 30, 2006, 12:06 PM
what your describing at table rock state park in mo.
almost white but not quite and still had black eyes so it was not an albino.
neat little rodent hung around our camp all week.

birddog
January 30, 2006, 12:07 PM
i hope you ate all 23 of those critters.

I think he said "quail", not "ostriches". Look in Peterson's. They're not very big.

;)

Sunray
January 30, 2006, 01:51 PM
There's a small town north of London called Exeter that has all kinds of white squirrels. They're not albino though. They have the normal black eyes. Since Exeter is not far from Lake Huron, they may have decided to just stick with the winter camouflage year 'round.

Smokey Joe
January 30, 2006, 04:14 PM
Gbran--Sounds to me like what you encountered was a cross between one albino parent and one normal-colored parent. Albino squirrels can survive to breeding age sometimes, so that doesn't seem at all unlikely to me.

Chawbaccer--The standard "grey" squirrel does have a black color variation which actually is more common than the colorless albino. It's called "melanism," and it is the opposite of albinism--an excess of pigment cells rather than an absence of them.

Some areas will have more black "gray" squirrels than regular gray ones.

redneck2
January 30, 2006, 07:03 PM
In some areas in N Central Indiana (Nappanee, Goshen, Elkhart area) there are more solid black than red fox squirrels

Is it still a fox squirrel if it's black??

birddog
January 30, 2006, 08:36 PM
I had to go back in my photo files to 2000 to find the cream colored-squirrel, but found a few each of the other color phases I've seen here in western NY. Who woulda thought these squirrel pictures would come in handy some day?! Enjoy.

Joel

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=34787&stc=1&d=1138667214

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=34785&stc=1&d=1138670853

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=34786&stc=1&d=1138667214

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=34788&stc=1&d=1138671258

Smokey Joe
January 31, 2006, 02:15 AM
Birddog--Nice, nice photos! You took 'em yrself? Take a bow!

The cream, black, and gray squirrels you picture are, I believe, the Eastern Gray Squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis. Unless you shot these in WA, OR, or CA, in which case my vote would be for the Western Gray Squirrel, Sciurus griseus, which looks very similar but with less white behind ears and along sides of tail. (Your gray gray squirrel, clearly has white behind its ears.) Yr 4th pic is, I believe, the northern race of the Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger, which is the only large rusty-colored squirrel. The fox squirrel runs a little larger than the gray, also.

Anyhow, again, nice pix!

Redneck2--Best of my knowledge, the fox squirrel doesn't display a black color phase with any great frequency. Not having seen yr red and black squirrels, if they are about the same size, my best guess would be that the black ones are melanistic gray squirrels, and the red ones are regular northern-race fox squirrels. (There is of course also the red squirrel, Tamasciurus hudsonicus, but that is about half the size of the gray squirrel.)

Nematocyst
January 31, 2006, 06:24 AM
Birddog--Nice, nice photos! You took 'em yrself? Take a bow! Ditto that. Very nice telephotos.

And Smokey Joe, do I detect another biologist on this forum, or "just" a natural history guy that knows his squirrels? (Where "just" is said with praise for knowing such information without the "official" documentation of that academic drudgery.)

Nem

birddog
January 31, 2006, 08:25 AM
The cream, black, and gray squirrels you picture are, I believe, the Eastern Gray Squirrel

You are correct, sir. All photos taken in NY state. And the cream squirrel was part of a tribe of grays. The black is a very common color phase of gray squirrel around here, worked its way across the Niagara River from Canada several years ago and now are very common.

MCgunner
January 31, 2006, 10:17 AM
http://albinosquirrel.com/about.html

http://www.scarysquirrel.org/campus/ut/

We had albino squirrels all over UT Austin while I was a student. I see that they're still there.

Most of what hangs around UT is pretty squirrelly...:D

Texas A&M Class of '75

Owen
January 31, 2006, 10:27 AM
Wow birddog, I'll take one of each and make calico stew!

charby
January 31, 2006, 03:07 PM
http://www.roadsideamerica.com/set/squirrelsblack.html

some info on squirrels..

Smokey Joe
January 31, 2006, 04:12 PM
Nematocyst-870--I admit it, degrees in Biology, Natural Resources, and Education, spent 32 years teaching middle school, and have all the scars to prove it. Actually liked the technical part of it, and mostly enjoyed the kids. Hated the paper shuffling, but it comes with the territory. It was the administrators and the school board (and the public that voted for 'em) that finally got to me.

BTW, have always admired your handle.

~z
January 31, 2006, 04:14 PM
Smokey Joe, don’t forget that the original specimen of sciurus niger was from a melanistic colony, hence the “niger”. Some of the things we recall from school.
~z

Smokey Joe
January 31, 2006, 04:28 PM
Even @ my advanced age!!

~Z--Well, how about that! I always wondered why a normally rusty squirrel was called "niger!" No one ever explained it; I just took it as "one of those things" and moved on. You'd think an inquiring mind like mine would have asked.

So, how common IS melanism in fox squirrels?

BTW--Owen--You'll need calico beans to add to yr calico stew! :D

~z
January 31, 2006, 05:30 PM
Smokey Joe, Not sure how common melanism is, just one of those things that struck me as odd in mamalogy class. Heres another one for you: This time from Ichthyology Micropterus salmoides (large mouth Bass) received its name from the original specimen shipped back to Europe which was poorly handled. Interestingly enough, the generic name for our freshwater bass, Micropterus, meaning "small fin", is a misnomer. The speciman from which the genus was named had a damaged fin which gave the appearance of a small fin behind the dorsal. This characteristic, needless to say, is not shared by the other members of the genus. Ah, taxonomy is such an exacting science...
~z

Nematocyst
February 1, 2006, 12:38 AM
Nematocyst-870--I admit it, degrees in Biology, Natural Resources, and Education, spent 32 years teaching middle school, and have all the scars to prove it. Actually liked the technical part of it, and mostly enjoyed the kids. Hated the paper shuffling, but it comes with the territory. It was the administrators and the school board (and the public that voted for 'em) that finally got to me. Dude, I can relate.

Taught community college for 7 years, then left (along with 15 others {out of 84 full timers} in one year because of a corrupt and stupid administration. {The president of the school was forced to resign by his corruption. Don't even get me started. :banghead: :fire: :cuss:

BTW, have always admired your handle. Hey, thanks. :)

It seemed apropo for a gun forum. :evil:

Nem

trueblue1776
February 1, 2006, 12:43 AM
Quail are tiny. I usually eat 3 or 4 at a sitting. Sounds like he got enough critters for 1 meal for a family of 5.

Quail are little flying chicken nuggets, you are making me hungry. I can eat mountains of those little buggers after a good hunt, :D no leftovers!

y'all can keep the rodents though, if it's not a rabbit anyhow...

Byron Quick
February 1, 2006, 01:00 PM
I couldn't really tell the comparative size from the photographs. But here in Georgia, fox squirrels are not a 'little' bigger than grey squirrels. Fox squirrels are easily twice as big or more. I've seen red, black, cream, and a totally different grey color scheme.

Guyon
February 1, 2006, 10:46 PM
Used to have an albino squirrel in our neighborhood. Got a good shot of it around here somewhere.

There are actually towns that bill themselves as "white squirrel towns": http://www.thom.org/gallery/set/squirrels.html

Nematocyst
February 2, 2006, 05:26 AM
... here in Georgia, fox squirrels are not a 'little' bigger than grey squirrels. Fox squirrels are easily twice as big or more. You'd better watch out for,
the fox squirrel that ate Chicago,
for he may eat your city soon.

You'd better watch out for the fox squirrel that ate Chicago,
If he's still hungry, the whole country's doomed.

http://imagination.org/lyrics/the_eggplant.html

MedGrl
February 2, 2006, 08:55 AM
It is interesting that you saw a "cream Squirrel" as you put it. In south Western Northcarolina there is a large population of "WHite Squirrels". THey are actualy albino squirrels that live and breed soly in the Ashville REgion of NC. My grandma owns 9 acres in the mountains there and has a bunch of them living on her property. THey are a protected species. I wonder if they are gonna start apearing in California or if it was just a random albino?

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