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Q:
BLACK SQUIRRELS!! I live in Central PA and am basically in the outdoors fishing or hunting every day. I have never seen a black squirrel in the woods until this year. I have seen 2- in two locations 30 miles apart. I was wondering where the blood lines are coming from and if anyone in central PA has been experiencing sightings as well?

Question by dplummer. Uploaded on September 23, 2009

Answers (15)

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from Elmer Fudd wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

It's the Feds! The Washington National Zoo to be precise.

There's no doubt in my mind there are regional variations. The gray squirrels in Virginia definitely seem smaller than some other places, not sure why that would be.

A link for your Blackies below. Note that at one time squirrels were so over-hunted there was a concern for them. I would have to think that was a little misplaced, but maybe regionally it could have been so in those days.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/18/AR200505...

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from Elmer Fudd wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

maybe you should send that guy in the article a pelt or a tail. I'd send him a letter at least, they seem interested in where they are going.

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from steve182 wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

We see them fairly often in Tioga county, have forever. It's the white ones that are rare, I've only seen one of them.

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from MLH wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

I understand they are a strain of gray squirrels. Years ago they were rare around here. Always thought they looked unique and cool. Now it depends on the location. My old yard had a mix of gray, black, fox, and dreaded red squirrels. Further north, I see only fox and red. In our northern woods I see mostly black and fox. Except for the red they all seem to taste the same - just more meat on the fox.

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from buckeye wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

I have seen black squirrels in the Cooks Forest area in PA. I went to college at Kent State University and they are everywhere up there. The founder of the college had them brought in and they are not native to the area, or so I was told. If you go outside of that area you will not see them anywhere.

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from mitchw wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

I'm in northern Minnesota, and we've got gray squirrels here. The black squirrels that we see here are just grays with melanism. From what I've been told by the biologists I work with (I'm a forester), melanism is a genetic fluke (most likely a highly recessive trait.) Melanism would be "the opposite" of albinism.

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from mattreney wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

never got the chance my sister saw some in ny and my dad said he saw two chasing eachother here in ct

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from Hunter Savage wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

they are just a gray squirrel with Melanesia . the flip side of albino

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from shane wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

The black ones are just melanistic grays as Mitch pointed out. There are a lot of them in Central Park.

The ones in OH were smuggled from Ontario by Kent State students, they dominated the campus and town population there by out competing and breeding with the local grays, and have spread out since.

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from Teodoro wrote 4 years 29 weeks ago

Jersey has a large population of black gray squirrels.

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from Skeeb wrote 4 years 29 weeks ago

I saw a few last year, but none this year. Maybe I'll get lucky when I'm grouse hunting and shoot one.

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from dplummer wrote 4 years 29 weeks ago

Thanks, All! Learned a great deal from this post!

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from stesty wrote 4 years 27 weeks ago

I live in Enola and their is a pack of black squirrels thata live on valley road and North Enola Drive. They are so cool to watch. When it snows is white and they are out is is cool. I have seen several out at one time. So this must be a family. So the articles that I have been reading saying 1 in 10,000. I guess they didnt' factor Enola Pa.

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from Anastasia Beave... wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

I live in the Germantown area of PA and when I drive in to work around Fairmount Park I always see black squirrels. In the city I have not nor in my neighborhood. It has only been in that one area. I would like to see one up close.

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from Mjfrazier wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I live in western pa and there in a small colony of black squirrels in our bourogh. This year
we have several nests in our yard. They are here I suspect for the bird feeder seeds.
The black squirrels are much smaller than the grey squirrels they stay well clear of the grey squirrels too.

The squirrels are solid black and look very kinetic as they move about, they are about 2/3 the size of the greys. They will not come to the feeder close to the house, but one in the yard about 30 yds away which is stocked with black oil sun flower seeds.

When I first saw them some 20 years ago I thought they were baby grey squirrels that got lighter in color as they matured, but the local folk set me straight.

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from shane wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

The black ones are just melanistic grays as Mitch pointed out. There are a lot of them in Central Park.

The ones in OH were smuggled from Ontario by Kent State students, they dominated the campus and town population there by out competing and breeding with the local grays, and have spread out since.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Elmer Fudd wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

It's the Feds! The Washington National Zoo to be precise.

There's no doubt in my mind there are regional variations. The gray squirrels in Virginia definitely seem smaller than some other places, not sure why that would be.

A link for your Blackies below. Note that at one time squirrels were so over-hunted there was a concern for them. I would have to think that was a little misplaced, but maybe regionally it could have been so in those days.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/18/AR200505...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Elmer Fudd wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

maybe you should send that guy in the article a pelt or a tail. I'd send him a letter at least, they seem interested in where they are going.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

We see them fairly often in Tioga county, have forever. It's the white ones that are rare, I've only seen one of them.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

I understand they are a strain of gray squirrels. Years ago they were rare around here. Always thought they looked unique and cool. Now it depends on the location. My old yard had a mix of gray, black, fox, and dreaded red squirrels. Further north, I see only fox and red. In our northern woods I see mostly black and fox. Except for the red they all seem to taste the same - just more meat on the fox.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckeye wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

I have seen black squirrels in the Cooks Forest area in PA. I went to college at Kent State University and they are everywhere up there. The founder of the college had them brought in and they are not native to the area, or so I was told. If you go outside of that area you will not see them anywhere.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from mitchw wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

I'm in northern Minnesota, and we've got gray squirrels here. The black squirrels that we see here are just grays with melanism. From what I've been told by the biologists I work with (I'm a forester), melanism is a genetic fluke (most likely a highly recessive trait.) Melanism would be "the opposite" of albinism.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hunter Savage wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

they are just a gray squirrel with Melanesia . the flip side of albino

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Teodoro wrote 4 years 29 weeks ago

Jersey has a large population of black gray squirrels.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Skeeb wrote 4 years 29 weeks ago

I saw a few last year, but none this year. Maybe I'll get lucky when I'm grouse hunting and shoot one.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from mattreney wrote 4 years 30 weeks ago

never got the chance my sister saw some in ny and my dad said he saw two chasing eachother here in ct

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dplummer wrote 4 years 29 weeks ago

Thanks, All! Learned a great deal from this post!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from stesty wrote 4 years 27 weeks ago

I live in Enola and their is a pack of black squirrels thata live on valley road and North Enola Drive. They are so cool to watch. When it snows is white and they are out is is cool. I have seen several out at one time. So this must be a family. So the articles that I have been reading saying 1 in 10,000. I guess they didnt' factor Enola Pa.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Anastasia Beave... wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

I live in the Germantown area of PA and when I drive in to work around Fairmount Park I always see black squirrels. In the city I have not nor in my neighborhood. It has only been in that one area. I would like to see one up close.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mjfrazier wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I live in western pa and there in a small colony of black squirrels in our bourogh. This year
we have several nests in our yard. They are here I suspect for the bird feeder seeds.
The black squirrels are much smaller than the grey squirrels they stay well clear of the grey squirrels too.

The squirrels are solid black and look very kinetic as they move about, they are about 2/3 the size of the greys. They will not come to the feeder close to the house, but one in the yard about 30 yds away which is stocked with black oil sun flower seeds.

When I first saw them some 20 years ago I thought they were baby grey squirrels that got lighter in color as they matured, but the local folk set me straight.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post an Answer