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Cream colored tree squirrel

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by gbran, Jan 29, 2006.

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  1. gbran

    gbran Member

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    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.
     
  2. Oldnamvet

    Oldnamvet Member

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    Ummm. Not to sound stupid but what is the difference between a mountain and valley quail -- other than where you found them?
     
  3. gbran

    gbran Member

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    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.
     
  4. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    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
     
  5. joebogey

    joebogey Member

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    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.
     
  6. silverlance

    silverlance Member

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

    Scottmkiv Member

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    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.
     
  8. AStone

    AStone Member

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    Blond? They were probably from LA and chattered like valley girls.

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

    Nem
     
  9. birddog

    birddog Member

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    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.
     
  10. Chawbaccer

    Chawbaccer Member

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    I got some coal black squirrels here in my yard, I am told that they are a varient of grey squirrles.
     
  11. Matt G

    Matt G Moderator Emeritus

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  12. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    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.
     
  13. one-shot-one

    one-shot-one Member

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    i've seen

    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.
     
  14. birddog

    birddog Member

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

    ;)
     
  15. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    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.
     
  16. Smokey Joe

    Smokey Joe Member

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    Non-albino squirrel

    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.
     
  17. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    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??
     
  18. birddog

    birddog Member

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    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

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  19. Smokey Joe

    Smokey Joe Member

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    Good Shootin', Birddog!

    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.)
     
  20. AStone

    AStone Member

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    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
     
  21. birddog

    birddog Member

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    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.
     
  22. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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  23. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    Wow birddog, I'll take one of each and make calico stew!
     
  24. charby

    charby Member

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  25. Smokey Joe

    Smokey Joe Member

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    Guilty as charged.

    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.
     
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