Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ghost Squirrel ... Just In Time For Halloween

Last Saturday, I was sitting in Theo's Restaurant with my parents, enjoying a wonderful Theo's
breakfast sandwich on toasted fresh baked bread, when the phone rang.
It was my brother Terry calling to tell me that a white squirrel had shown up at his feeder that morning.
He thought I might want to get a picture.
He was right.

So, after breakfast, I stopped by his house and sat on his back steps, beneath the watchful eyes of an old fat cat who didn't seem to care about the beaucoup squirrels beneath the feeder.
Sure enough, a perky white squirrel was bouncing around the yard.
Here's the little white devil enjoying some seeds with a "normal" (is there such a thing?) grey squirrel.
So, the question is ... is he an albino or just a white phase squirrel? I looked hard at all my photos and the eye appears nice and dark, not pink like I would expect if he was a true albino.

Not that it matters that much, as he is pretty special either way. Perhaps my brother could open his own chapter of the ASPS.

video

I hope he makes it long enough to spread those genes around. It certainly adds interest to the usual birdfeeder crowd.
I have my doubts though.
The house sits near a saltmarsh with abundant hawks and the whole time I was filming I could hear one a few trees away.

33 comments:

Susan said...

WOW! I've heard about these, but never seen one 'til now. I think it's more amazing that the squirrel is not albino. It's not a genetic malfunction but the "real deal" - a pure white squirrel.

Sayre said...

We have quite a few white squirrels around here. They are NOT albinos, but truly white squirrels. They aren't as numerous as the regular grey and they were imported. The best place to see them reliably is at the Tallahassee Museum (www.TallahasseeMuseum.com)

Sayre said...

Oops - that's www.TallahasseeMuseum.ORG

Me and my fingers...

tai haku said...

For me this falls into what I'd called a leucistic specimen. I believe they are relatively common in some areas but obviously pretty cool.

ldybug said...

woah. i've never seen one of those down here. pretty cool. thanks for sharing.

amarkonmywall said...

Learn something new and interesting every day! I would have guessed albino and that it's not likely he would be passing those genes on in a way that they were very visible. Shows how little I know. I'm off to read a bit about these white squirrels. Lucky you, to see him and get some video!

Deb said...

I've seen albino squirrels before, but never anything with dark eyes like that one. We have an occasional melanistic (black) squirrel around here.

Doug Taron said...

Very nice. A member of my department runs a citizen science program called Project Squirrel. It would be wonderful if you or your brother could stop by their site and post your observations and a photo.

NativeMom said...

Who knew squirrels could be so interesting? I'm gonna have to show that video to my kids. Thanks!

Breezey375 said...

Cute squirrel.

BeeDancer said...

I've never seen a white squirrel before, albino or otherwise...it's really cute. Do the white squirrels hang out around the Tallahassee Museum? I'll have to visit there next time we head up that way.

The squirrels have totally taken over my bird feeders, but I allow it as their acrobatics are endlessly entertaining.

TROLL said...

After the first good heavy snowfall, he'll blend right in and the hawk won't see....

Nevermind.

Dani said...

Wow, that's so neat!

Klaus said...

Well that's pretty cool! What a catch!
Cheers, Klaus

threecollie said...

He is really beautiful! Have you seen the white deer on the air force base up here in NY?
http://www.rochesterblog.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=51&Itemid=28
They are so cool, I hope the base doesn't get developed.

alan said...

that is just too cool

Sandcastle Momma said...

That is really cool! I've never seen (or heard of) a white squirrel. I saw Sayre's post about them being spotted in her area but I don't think they live over here in the panhandle. What a sight! Thanks for sharing.

pablo said...

Troll got my comment. We have a yard near us that has a white squirrel in it, and there is supposed to be a town in Missouri somewhere that is filled with them.

SophieMae said...

Petty dawgawn cool! I haven't seen our local white squirrels in a coon's age. Of course, I don't get down thataway as often since my curb-shopping phase has diminished.8-]

If you get a few spare minutes... yeah, I know, what's that?... check out our favourite squirrel story. It's a hoot and a half.

Wren said...

Wow, that is so cool. I've never seen one in real life. A shame they are so easy for predators to pick off.

Sandcastle Momma said...

I showed my mother these pics and she says we had one in our backyard when I was little so apparently they do live here in the panhandle. They must rare over this way though.

snb said...

Funny! When I walked last night in my neighborhood, I stood and watched a white squirrel for some time. It was much smaller than a typical gray squirrel. It was in shadow, so I could not determine the eye color. We have seen one around before, but not recently. I wished for my camera. Glad you got some shots.

lesle said...

There's another scurry (also dray) of squirrel perhaps two miles NE of the Tallahassee Museum mentioned by Sayre. They're in the residential block immediately west of Sabal Palm Elementary and immediately south of the old FHP training academy. Years ago a resident there told me that they'd "always" been there. The ones I've seen there are dusky white, not pure white like FC's.

FC, great video and photo!

Anonymous said...

That is so neat!!! I didn't know they existed! I know a squirrel lady that use to work with you, that will love this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Floridacracker said...

To all,
Wow! Lots of good info, practically a guide to where the white squirrels are in FL.
I sure appreciate all the input. I seem to remember seeing lots of light squirrels in central FL area state park, but I can't remember which one it was. They were not snow white like this one, but rather a vanilla cream color.
Was it Hontoon Isle? hhhmmmmmm ... it was back in the 80's, so I'm not sure.

Glad you enjoyed the pics and video.

It's almost cold enough to snow down here tonight so maybe he will have the advantage soon!!

Robert V. Sobczak said...

I'm shocked! Not only was I expecting an egret, the last thing I was expecting was an albino squirrel. Somehow that guy seems better suited for snow. (I've heard of snow birds ... but never snow squirrels!)

Alan said...

Highly amusing and rare, but certainly not high up on the chain of well camouflaged critters...

If he isn't a true albino but is still wearing a white coat do you think he might, by chance, be a squirrel pimp? Just needs a tiny hat and little cane... Huggy Squirrel...

Thunder Dave said...

Lightnin and I saw some pure black squirrels when visiting friends in Nebraska. I'm pretty sure teh black and white colors are merely part of the natural genetic squirrel pool! ;-)

Aunty Belle said...

oh mah heavens! Ain't never seen such. Mercy. an' very pretty too--so white. Does them other rodents KNOW this one is different?

GLad ya snapped this--really fun to see.

Aunty Belle said...

Oh, an' that new header shot is makin' mah heart flutter--real early floridy.

Floridacracker said...

Back in, early Wed morn ...
If I had known a white squirrel would be this appealing, I'd a cloroxed one long ago!

Just kidding.

Aunty, since I (well, not me... the picture ...) set your heart flutterin', that spot in the header is Rivercamp Road, Devils Hammock Wildlife Management Area, Levy County.

Girly Rican said...

Wow that's so cool. I've seen 4 so far in my area, Kissimmee, FL. Two near the Good Samaritan retirement community and two in the small swamp reserve area in the community of Little Creek on Ham Brown Road. Who knows and they are the same pair of squirrels who just wandered around a bit. The other day the were eating next to the normal colored squirrels.

Sharing Florida Pictures said...

Nice squirrel. We took this photo of a 'relaxed' squirrel today! http://www.sharingflorida.com/wildlife/eastern-gray-squirrel-in-florida.php