Best places to see SQUIRRELS
 

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SQUIRRELS TODAY: current situation and conflicts

 

Squirrels are one of the few animals to thrive in the altered suburban environment. They're generalists and opportunists. Most city parks have a denser squirrel population than pre-colonial forests. But the population has certainly fallen in rural areas, which used to see mass migrations of thousands of squirrels.

 

Most squirrels in the U.S. are gray squirrels (although some of this species are black or white). A few other species are found in certain regions:

Fox squirrel (big, red with a tan belly)

Red squirrel (small and chatty)

Flying squirrel (small and only seldom seen at dusk)

Ground squirrels are generally dark and live in burrows

Western states have a plethora of local varities, including the pine, Abert and Uinta to name a few.

 

While ridiculously common, the squirrel can still amuse visitors, especially if it's used to being fed and a different kind from your home regions. Festivals and protected areas have been set up for some of the distinct populations of white squirrels, with many towns claiming the title of White Squirrel Capital. .

VIEWING TIPS

redThey can't see well directly ahead, so be cautious with hand feeding. They like nuts, but also eat apples, grapes, bananas, leaf buds, insects and bark. The best time to see daytime squirrels is early morning and late afternoon; for most of the year they take a mid-day siesta. In winter they may only have one mid-day outing. City squirrels, who depend on people for nuts, are going to be more friendly.

FAQ

What's the difference between gray and black squirrels?

There are a few species of gray squirrels around the U.S. Confusingly the black squirrels are gray squirrels by species. Many people have developed elaborate theories over whether black or gray squirrels were more aggressive, usually based on the behavior of individual squirrels they know. In reality, gray squirrels are like labrador retrievers: the mother can have black and gray babies in the same litter.

 

Will squirrels bite me?

Not on purpose--unless they think you are trying to catch them. But they have poor eyesight and are jumpy, so if you feed them by hand they may mistake your finger for a nut. Those handling squirrels are more likely to get scratched than bitten.

 

Will that squirrel give me rabies?

No, rabies in squirrels is possible--as it is in all mammals--but it is extremely rare in squirrels. The leading theory is that squirrels bit by a rabid animal die because they are small instead of living to pass the disease on.

 

What should I do if I find a baby squirrel?

First, wait to see if the mother is around and coming to pick it up. But don't wait long because baby squirrels need to be kept warm. If the mother isn't coming back (some may push out extra or sick babies or die from car accidents, predation by hawks or rat poison), your first priority is to keep the baby squirrel warm in a quiet, dark place. Try to find a licensed wildlife rehabilitator from your state's natural resources department. Check the many online resources, such as the Squirrel Board, to find the appropriate food for the squirrel's age. Usually they'll need rehydration (a gatorade-like mix of water, sugar, salt and potassium) then esbilac, a fake puppy milk. Don't give them cow's milk.

BEST PLACES TO SEE UNUSUAL SQUIRRELS

 

 

midwest Midwest - See other animals in the Midwest
white squirrel

Olney, IL: White Squirrel City

Olney, IL is one of several towns known for its white squirrels. The 200-some Olney squirrels are albino and can be found in Olney City Park and Millers Grove.

Isle Royale Red Squirrels - MI
Isle Royale National Park is home to its own species of red squirrel, Tamiasciurus hudsonicus regalis. The Isle Royale Red Squirrel, separated from the mainland squirrrels by 14 miles of water, evolved into a smaller, less red subspecies.They are the most common and most chatty animal on Isle Royale.
Isle Royale is only accessible by boat. Ferries come from Houghton and Copper Harbor, Michigan and Grand Portage, Minnesota. On the border of Canada. (906) 482-0984
northeast Northeast - See other animals in the Northeast

Acadia National Park, Maine

Red Squirrels regularly rattle to scold hikers at Acadia National Park., which makes it one of the easiest places to see this smaller, more chatty species.

Unusual Squirrels of New York City

The smaller the park, the friendlier the gray squirrels will be towards humans because they depend on handouts more. City Hall Park, Union Square and Battery Park are popular to feed squirrels. Foreign tourists often form squirrel jams around their lucky customers.

Stuyvesant Town

This massive housing development on the east side above 14th Street is famous for its high concentration of black squirrels. Black squirrels--just a color phase of the gray squirrel species--can be found all over the city, but there are just a lot here.

Central Park Squirrels are generally not that interested in humans in this large, at times raw, park. The city's only Red Squirrel lives in the Pinetum in Central Park--supposedly.

Prospect Park and Van CortLandt Park Chipmunks live here, but not in Manhattan

Inwood Hill Park and Alley Pond Park have flying squirrels, which you can only hope to see at dusk in the summer.

south Plains -- See other animals on the Plains
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white squirrel

Dueling White Squirrel Capitals of the World

Along with Olney, IL, and , several southern towns compete for the title White Squirrel Captial of the World.

Brevard, NC: : Home of the White Squirrels

Brevard, NC is home to 1,000 White Squirrells. the Memorial Day White Squirrel Festival and the White Squirrel Research Institute, which collects and analyzes an amazing amoung of data on the town's white squirrels. You can see them around Brevard College.


Kenton, TN: White Squirrel Sanctuary

Kenton Tennessee is a white squirrel hot spot. The White Squirrel Sanctuary at Rt. 89 & 5 is just one of the places to see them in town.
Marionville, MO: Home of the White Squirrels
Marionville, Missouri is Home of the White Squirrels
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out west The West - See other animals out West
Kaibab Plateau, Grand Canyon
Kaibab Squirrels, which are black with white tails and tufted ears,  live only on the Kaibab Plateau. Once thought their own species, they are now considered  a subspecies of the Abert's Squirrel.

bat

Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Tuscon, AZ

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum has desert ground squirrels.In the desert squirrels can only live underground and get by on cactus seeds and fruit and on rarer grasses and carrion. The three species you might see here are Harris’ antelope squirrel (active year-round, with a stripe that makes it look like a chipmunk), round-tailed ground squirrel (looks like a petitie prairie dog), and rock squirrel. You can also visit bats, roadrunners, barn owls, hawks. 

2021 North Kinney Road, Tucson, AZ Hours & Rates (520) 883-2702

Uinta Ground Squirrel - UT, WY
The Uinta Ground Squirrel lives underground most of the year in matriarchal colonies. They only live in Utah, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, says Utah's Division of Natural Resources, which provides this handy habitat map. The Uinta (pronounced like You IN Tuh) like sagegrass meadows and the treeline, says AnimalDiversityWeb. They're dark with a skinny tail. They hibernate in winter and adults are innactive in the hottest summer months. You might find them in the Uinta-Wasatch National Park, but they're more concentrated up north, especially near the Wyoming border. Wyoming lists them as living mostly along their SW border.

ABERT SQUIRRELS - AZ, NM, CO, UT, WY

Abert squirrels, also known as tassle-eared squirrels. They look like they're out of a fairy tale, almost like a rabbit: they're gray with a white belly and comically enormous ears. They only live in New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and Mexico. Here's their IUCN map.

Bandelier National Monument, NM

Bandelier National Monument is home to They eat ponderosa pine. A colony of 10,000 Mexican free-tail bats roost in the cave above Long House on the Main Loop Trail.
Bandelier National Monument, Los Alamos, NM (505) 672-3861

Flagstaff, AZ

Abert squirrels an be found at the Grand Canyon and around Flagstaff, where they mug tourists.

Harriman, WY

Harriman, right on the Colorado border, is the only area in Wyoming that sees Abert squirrels.

Canyonlands National Park, UT

They only live in New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and Mexico. Here's their IUCN map. Here's where they live in Utah, the pines of the southern part of Canyonlands National Park.

Evergreen and Durango, CO

In Colorado they live in the Rockies from north to south in the state. Lots of their habitat on the front range has been wiped out by development. But Colorado Division of Wildlife says you can find them near Evergreen and Durango. In the Evergreen area, check out the Bergen Peak Wildlife Mgt Area and Elk Meadow Park which, has all kinds of novelty rodents: the tassle-eared (Abert) squirrel, Richardson ground squirrel (like a prairie dog), and pocket gopher. They've also got badger. Near Durango check out the Animas Mountain Trail.

 

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Exeter, Ontario : Lucky Squirrels

Exeter, Ontario has lucky white squirrels, which can be seen at McNaughton Park.

 

moose

Yukon Wildlife Preserve
Yukon Wildlife Preserve started as a family operation in the 1960s and in 2000 became a non-profit 700-acre, educational wildlife reserve with caribou, elk, Alaska Yukon Moose, ground squirrel, lynx, mule deer, musk ox, wood bison and thinhorn sheep.
Open only weekends in the winter and every day in the summer. Tour by bus ($22) or foot ($15). They're also a wildlife rehabilitation center.
Plenty of guides lead tours by canoe, foot or 4x4 nearby.
Latin America Latin America -- See other animals in Latin America
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Fareham- Coconut-Eating Squirrel Capital of the World
Fareham (near Portsmouth) has gained notoriety twice for its coconut eating squirrels. In 2008 the Daily Mail profiled a squirrel that would lift a coconut over his head to eat it in the yard of Vicky Walker, in Portchester, Fareham. In 2010 her neighbor Jane Roberts showed  Sky News how squirrels would wear the coconuts like helmets to eat them.

Formby Point & Squirrel Preserve UK

Liverpool, England

Formby Point & Squirrel Preserve near Liverpool is a sanctuary for the embattled Red Squirrel. Formby, Liverpool, Merseyside, L37 1PH, United Kingdom 01704 878591

Guesthouse with Squirrels
The To Post Guesthouse (Zur Post Gasthof) has a large squirrel facility out back with five species of squirrels, including the cute, red European kind with the giant tufts of hair on its ears. Roland Jr. Haase has been breeding them for 20 years.
Rathausweg 5, 93470 Lohberg, Germany, 09943 1264


Kiskunság National Park
Kiskunság National Park in Hungary is one of the few places left to see the European Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus citellus), which is classified as vulnerable by the IUCN Red List. Also known as the Souslik and Ardilla Terrestre, this squirrel has been pushed out of Poland and Germany because of farming and now lives in scattered populations in Eastern Europe. Because it builds burrows, this dark squirrel survives on the kindness of landowners, especially on golf courses, lawns and sports fields. It is still eaten as a traditional dish by gypsies, the IUCN notes. It's coming back where farmlands are failing.
Barcelona Red Squirrels
The red squirrels of Palau Reial de Pedralbes Park in Barcelona are usually shy, writes Iberia Nature, but they come down from the trees in late afternoon.
Palau Reial de Pedralbes, Avinguda Diagonal 686, 08014 Barcelona, Spain, 934 132 400

Asia Asia
Sita Mata Wildlife Sanctuary India
SitaMata Jungle Wildlife Sanctuary near Dhariyawad stretches over a wide area, has safari tours and is home to four-horned antelope, panther, flying squirrel, pangolin, wild boar, hyena, jackal, jungle cat, caracal, porcupine and Nilgai. One tourist site after another brags about its giant flying squirrels, which glide through the forest after dusk. But this Rajastan guide says they're seldom seen.

Giant Squirrel Sanctuary India
The Giant Srivilliputhur Squirrel Sanctuary has most of the last population of 300 black and white Grizzled Giant Squirrels (Ratufa macroura). So, it's also known as the Grizzled Giant Squirrel Sanctuary. See pictures of the big (3 kg ) squirrel at ARKive.



 

Best Locations List
friends of the dolphin
White Squirrel Research Institute
Canadian White Squirrels
Squirrel Lover's Club
The Squirrel Board
Defenders of Wildlife
Humane Society of the United States
World Wildlife Fund
wildlife reading
Found a baby squirrel?
Olney, IL Squirrel Lady
Roadside America
Rancher Saves Idaho Ground Squirrels

 

 
 
 

 

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SQUIRREL NEWS i
Reader question: what's up with this squirrel's raggedy fur?
This VA squirrel has white, gray and rusty fur at all different lengths and angles. Can you figure out what's wrong?
 
My least favorite squirrel: California Ground Squirrel
California ground squirrels are all over California. You can see their little den holes in the dusty chapparel. Wikipedia says they are "common and easily observed ground squirrel of the western United States." Easily observed, my ass.
 
Curious Critters: local animals with excellent PR
Photographer David FitzSimmons gives local birds, frogs and other common animals the spotlight in a kids book with sharp macro pictures and funny text.
 
Ambitious squirrel plays in baseball playoffs. Twice.
Squirrel runs onto baseball diamond during playoffs in St. Louis for the second time this week. I think he's an adolescent male--typically obnoxious in any species--drawn in by peanuts.
 
Miniature Daleks take on UK's gray squirrels
Chris Balcombe, a BBC props expert, enticed a gray squirrel to put on a Dr. Who dalek custume by putting some nuts inside it.
 
 
Silly Season for Squirrels
Adolescent squirrels are making their first appearances this time of year and acting ridiculous.
 
One bridge not enough for squirrels of Longview, WA
Longview, WA, is getting a second bridge at their First Annual Squirrel Festival August 6, when they'll off a design contest to put up more squirrel bridges.
 
East Village hawk Dominatrix favors fancy NYU building over Tompkins Square
The East Village hawk known as The Dominatrix isn't building a nest in Tompkins Square Park after all, but she may be the one now showing off her egg-sitting abilities to the world via a New York Times web cam.
 
Dennis Edge, wildlife photographer, shows Tompkins Sq's 88 bird species
How many bird species have you seen in New York City? Dennis Edge, an East Village photographer, has scored an amazing 88 species in and around Tompkins Square Park.
 

White Squirrels to Bring in 25,000 to N.C. Town

Olney, IL, watch your back! Brevard, NC--a longtime rival  White Squirrel Capital of the World--may be snatching the title for good. About 20,000 - 25,000 people are expected this weekend at Brevard's 7th annual White Squirrel Festival to go on a white squirrel safari, compete with white squirrel photography, feeder-making and the "squirrel box derby." (Well, okay, some actually come for the music.)

Normally there's just one guy in a  squirrel suit called Woody the White Squirrel, but this year's extravaganza will feature 250 people in white squirrel costumes dancing to BrotherBrother for five minutes Saturday afternoon to set a world record. Read more

FDNY Saves Three Baby Squirrels

Yesterday Queens fireman Ralph Longo, was putting out a car fire and through all the smoke and fire extinguisher fog, he saw something tiny and gray move . He found four baby squirrels and pulled them out of the wreck.

Read on

Medeival Squirrel Dentistry on My Kitchen Table

A friendly black squirrel from Queens needed her teeth clipped after the bottom ones grew into her top gums.

Squirrel Takes Rightful Place as NYC Parks Mascot

The New York City Parks Department named Pearl the Squirrel its official mascot, finally giving the city's most popular rodent some due. Last February we lobbied  for a squirrel for the high profile post, lest parks end up with those peculiar garbage can characters. (Ok, those turn out to be for recycling.) Read on
Squirrel Release Success--Except for One Stalker