Saturday, May 14, 2016

Got a Mug Shot!

Aha!  That's why this squirrel can get into the squirrel-proof bird feeders -- it's only half the size of the grey squirrels around here.  And then there's that chestnut streak down its back -- are any of you squirrel specialists?  Can anyone tell me if this is something worth writing to Cornell about?
(A few years ago I found a strange bug on the bathtub, sent a picture to Cornell and was told I'd made the first report from Monroe County of the invading Stink Bug.) 

So do squirrels ever mate with chipmunks?  I guess not, but that's sort of the size of this free-loader.  Any information appreciated.


  1. Maybe a youth or possibly a red squirrel?

  2. I Googled "juvenile gray squirrel" and took a look at some of the photos. Many of these did show a good deal of red in the fur. For that matter, a lot of my adult grays here have some red streaks. (Not to mention our local black squirrels, which seem to be a variant of the grays and mingle freely with them.)

    So give it a few weeks and keep looking. If Freddie or Frederica the Freeloader can still fit into the feeder by, say, the end of June, then I'd say give Cornell a shout.

    1. Hi A. Marie! Very interested to hear that the black squirrels have invaded the US! I first saw them when we moved to Kingston, Ontario back in the early '80s. Learned that they are just a colour variant of the common gray squirrel - same species. Yes, they do mingle freely, and seem to be without prejudice. But I have never seen a black one outside of Canada. Wonder how they jumped the St. Lawrence?

    2. And hello to you, mamaconnie. I've been seeing black squirrels here in Syracuse since I came to SU for graduate school back in the late 1970s, so if they swam the St. Lawrence, they did so at least 40 years ago. I'll have to do some more Googling to see how widespread they are.

    3. Thanks for the geographical report on incidence of black squirrels in the Syracuse area! We now have seen black ones in our backyard in Vancouver - we didn't even have grays until a few years ago. Some idiot introduced them in Stanley Park downtown about 50 years ago, and they have been making their way eastward - back to the Homeland! - ever since.

    4. I wouldn't ordinarily be commenting on fauna but I must chime in that there have been black squirrels in the Bronx since the 70s. I'm a Manhattanite and I was quite surprised when I first saw black squirrels in the NY Botanical Garden in the Bronx.

      Meg L

  3. This is the time of year that young squirrels can leap on to the bottom of our "squirrel-proof" feeder. The physics of their body are just right. Lasts about a week. The cat keeps track for us.