Black squirrels with white tails?

Discussion in 'General Michigan Hunting' started by Moron, Nov 12, 2004.

  1. Moron


    Was wondering if anyone has ever seen black squirrels with partially white tails?
    We had a few around here in years past that had rather stubby tails with white tips. This year we have 2 whose tails are normal in size and shape, but almost half(the ends) are completely white. I think they're from a late litter, they're a little on the small size yet and travel with a couple grays I assume are from the same litter. They are starting to come to the bird feeders by the house. I'll try to get some pictures when I get a chance. Just curious as to how common something like this is.

    I remember hearing mayb 20 some years ago about a town that was known for squirrels that were all white. Can't remember which state it was, but I think it was Ohio or Indiana.

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  2. In black squirrels, which are already a color anomaly of gray squirrels. The white gene seems to show up more often when populations are high. We've seen and shot quite a few over the years.

    I've got a black squirrel here on my desk that has a white belly, four white socks, white "eyeliner", and a pure white tail. He was the last of a limit on the second day of the season about 10 years ago, which was a banner year for squirrels in one of our prime hunting spots.

    I've got a photo here of another black with an almost all white tail, taken by a hunter up here on opening day of the season this year.

    Neat looking, aren't they?

    Something else I've heard a lot about this year, and have seen for myself several times-almost pure white skunks...really cool looking, but I'm not about to try to get one to mount...


  3. We've had a fox squirrel coming around our back yard that had an all white tail. It was normal size, but it sure did show up against the leaves.
  4. Moron


    Funny you should mention white skunks. We have a young looking one comes by a couple nights a week that's almost all white and another that's almost all black. I thought maybe it was just because they were still young.

    Does this have to do with high density also? I've heard there's been alot of people complaining about them in northern Michigan this year.
  5. whenever populations are higher, you have a higher incidence of all the anomalies in the animal kingdom, albinism being one of them. Hen turkeys with beards, does with antlers, etc., would be other different anomalies.

    There's way too many skunks in all the towns, villages and cities up here coons, turkeys, deer and other critters, skunks are learning where there's not only a steady supply of food, but also less danger from predators.

  6. ummm...I thought black squirrels with white tails are skunks?? :lol:
  7. I've seen what I think is the same squirrel for the last three years that is black with a white tail. I thought that it was pretty cool that he lasted that long.

    Now you got me wondering if I was seeing more than one. It is the same spot that I see him. Twice in October from my treestand and once in the summer about 40 yds. from my stand.
  8. I've always been told that squirrels rarely live more than a year, Airoh, but it's possible, I suppose, if that squirrel's had lots of food, and lives in an area where there aren't a lot of predators (although with cats and cars I'm not sure where that would be).

    Albinism is a family trait, so it's also possible that you're looking at a second or even a third generation down from your original squirrel.

    There's been very little research done on squirrels in Michigan-Durward Allen wrote a book on fox squirrels back in the late 30's or 40's that I've got a copy of here, full of very interesting information about fox squirrels in this state, and a little about grays, but not much.

    Blacks were almost unheard of in this state then. So something has changed in evolution since then.

    Other states have quite a bit of research about squirrels, but in squirrel hunting a number of different states over the years, I've found a lot of differences in the squirrels as you go into different climates. In Tennessee, there's tons of squirrels, but they're all gray with white bellies, very small like our red squirrel, with behavior like our red squirrels.

    In Florida, they're all gray, too, but they're HUGE. Almost like a western marmot.

    Kansans call all their squirrels "red" squirrels-but they're actually big, beautiful fox squirrels, with white bellies.

    Ohio has populations a lot like ours, in identification and behavior, but I've never had much luck at all finding any out in the woods-only in the suburbs. I think Ohio has some really serious squirrel hunters-either that, or all the bushytails hide in town to avoid the predators.

    Squirrels are really interesting critters.
  9. Ranger Ray

    Ranger Ray Smells like, Victory!
    Premium Member

    I saw a black squirrel with a fox squirrel tail while bow hunting. Saw him twice to be exact about 8 years ago. Have hunted the same area since and have never seen another. One of those things you have to pinch yourself to make sure you are awake. ;)
    #9 Ranger Ray, Nov 13, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2015
  10. In the woods across from my old house I shot a couple squirrels that looked like greys from the tail. When the hit the ground they did have grey tails but the body was the size and color of a red squirrel. I don't know why I didn't have one of them mounted.

    Most of you are too young to remember when black squirrels were totally protected. Some one had the idea that they were something special. We would see tons of blacks but few grey or fox squirrels.

    One of the guys I hunted with that had a black and tan squirrel dog told the story of hunting with the local co. A grey ran up the tree and when the co shot a black fell out. When asked by my buddy what he would have done if he had shot the squirrel. The co said I would have wrote you. My buddy always wondered if he really would have given him a ticket.
  11. Moron


    Thanks all for the info.
    I'll try to get some pictures, but right now my interest is in pursuing a much larger type of white tailed critter. ;) Good luck to all.
  12. My parents have a plethera of backyard squirrels in all varieties of colors and mixes. They also have some that are wild yet tamed to eat peanuts and discard the shells into a garbage can. hours of entertainment I agree

    But what I was gonna say is some of the tamed ones got over 3 years old for sure, maybe older.
  13. I don't know how common they are in other areas but on my property, there are always a few of the blacks w/white tails. Just a very rough estimate, but I'd say about 1 in 5 of the total squirrel population here.

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