Albinos have pink or blue eyes and no dark pigments anywhere on their bodies. Squirrels that have white coats and dark eyes are called leucistic.
Are There Any Black Squirrels?
Another type of white squirrel is predominantly white and sports a dark head patch and stripe on its back. The white-phase gray squirrel I saw a few years ago was leucistic. Albino gray squirrels are the rarest form of white squirrel. Mammalogists estimate that the odds of a female gray squirrel giving birth to an albino offspring are 1 in , In turn, their poor eyesight makes them more likely to suffer injury and death by falling out of trees.
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Yet some experts say that may not be the case. They argue that hawks and other wild predators may not recognize a white squirrel as food.
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Declines in white squirrels living in Olney, Ill. There are a couple of ways that white squirrels—the leucistic kind—suddenly appear in an area. Scientists believe that occasionally squirrels are born without the genes that enable their bodies to produce normal amounts of a chemical known as melanin. Squirrels that produce too much melanin are black.
Those with too little melanin are white.
Squirrels that produce only moderate levels of pigment are blond. Over the years, people have trapped white squirrels and released them in other areas. For example, it is widely believed that the white squirrel colony in Brevard, N. Note: In Georgia, as in most states, trapping and relocating native wildlife without a permit is illegal. Some white squirrel colonies are short-lived, disappearing in a few years. The Olney, Ill.
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White squirrels have been seen in this community since the s. Usually, such populations include 20 or fewer squirrels, and they comprise less than 10 percent of the local squirrel population. However, it has been reported that one in three gray squirrels in Brevard, N.
For me, seeing a white squirrel was a treat. I wish we had colonies of naturally occurring white squirrels in more parts of the Peach State.
The white squirrels of Brevard
Terry W. The eastern bluebird is one of our most beloved birds. One reason for its popularity is that its beauty can be enjoyed without having to gaze at the bird through a pair of binoculars. Until I retired, I never spent much time watching bumblebees. I was a very young girl when they were given to me as pets. It is actually quite interesting how things originate sometimes. Who knew a pair of White Squirrels would end up populating the entire city of Brevard.
I will even venture to guess that they have begun to populate the entire county by now! You can read all about this wonderful story and how this awesome event took place in my book. It is always interesting to read about others lives and sometimes we get the rare treat of having an awesome story attached to it.
The White Squirrels of Western North Carolina
If you want to see these wonderful White Squirrels in person, then plan a trip to Brevard or better yet, come to the White Squirrel Festival. It is held each year in Brevard. Here is a link to the festival [ Brevard White Squirrel Festival.