Black Gray Squirrels

Black gray squirrel in Schenley Park (photo by Kate St. John)

Throw Back Thursday (TBT):

Last month when the leaves changed color I began to notice the many black squirrels in Schenley Park.  During the summer they were hidden by leafy shadows but they stand out now among the bare trees and fallen leaves.

Black squirrels aren’t a separate species.  They’re just “eastern gray squirrels” (Sciurus carolinensis) that are melanistic.  This one isn’t 100% black.  He has white whiskers.

Read more about melanism and squirrels in this article from 2010 entitled: This Is A Gray Squirrel.


(photo by Kate St. John)

4 thoughts on “Black Gray Squirrels

  1. The farther north you go, the more you see. Quebec and Ontario have a lot more than we do. Two years ago, we went to Ottawa and saw a black groundhog on the grounds of the parliament building. I’ve never seen that before.

  2. … and they are running amok in eastern Ontario, Canada – big time! Everywhere I traveled – there they were. What fun!

  3. These squirrels used to be unique to Kent, Ohio for years. I went to Kent State University back in the late 70s and again in the late 80s, and they were still an oddity only in that area. There was a Black Squirrel Club at the University. Then, they started to be seen elsewhere in NE Ohio. (I now live about 30 miles to the north of Kent.) Now, they are a common sight all over NE Ohio in the parks where I go hiking. I am not sure why they were isolated for so long in that one area. The land surrounding Kent (and other communities to the north) gradually became more developed. Less farmland/rural areas without many trees. Maybe that had something to do with their spread. Now, there are more black ones than gray ones in the parks around here.

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