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Old Jul 16, 2004, 11:41 PM   #1
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Red eye left to emphasis attitude (his, not mine.)


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Old Jul 17, 2004, 12:12 AM   #2
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Hahah scary! I swear It didn't say squirrel when I looked at the title.. it said some other animal and I wa slike "Those don't live in NYC!" I musta mixed some other title in and just gone crazy... lol whew..

great shot.. did you use a flash?> It looks like it on his tail, but it looks liek natural lighting everywhere else. It's very sharp.. nice job! What zoom was that?
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Old Jul 17, 2004, 1:06 AM   #3
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Thanks! Yes, I did use a flash since it was abt 5:30 PM and he was in a shadowy area. I live in a complex which has quite a few black squirrels, which are a bit more eye-catching than the standard variety. When I printed this photo out, the red-eye made him look like a vampire-squirrel

I used a Canon EOS D60 with one of their ultrasonic telephoto lenses, at a focal length of 135mm. The trouble with the squirrels here is that a lot of people feed them, and if they spot you, they come charging in your direction hoping for a snack. So, you can't get too close to them.
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Old Jul 18, 2004, 7:47 PM   #4
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That is only the second black squirrel I've seen in my entire life. Are they common in NYC?

--Barbara
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Old Jul 18, 2004, 10:08 PM   #5
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I'd like to know if they are common too. I've lived everywhere from the west coast (CA and WA) to the plains (KS) to the mid-west (OH). I've seen red squirrels and grey squirrels, and pictures of albino squirrels, but I've never even seen a picture of a black squirrel. Very interesting.
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Old Jul 19, 2004, 1:25 AM   #6
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I used to live in NYC and I used to see black phase gray squirrels from time to time. According to this webpage, they are more common the further north in their range you go.
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Old Jul 19, 2004, 9:02 AM   #7
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geoffs wrote:
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I used to live in NYC and I used to see black phase gray squirrels from time to time. According to this webpage, they are more common the further north in their range you go.
This is fascinating. I used to live in a town 120 miles north of NYC, and it was there that I saw my first (and last) black squirrel. Where I am now, which is 150 miles north of NYC, I've not seen a black squirrel ever. The Web page indicates that black is more common in the northern reaches of the animal's range, implying somewhere up in Canada. How in heck does the black squirrel migrate (as we can only suppose it did) from Canada down to NYCbut miss the Capital District entirely? I'm sitting here looking at a map in my head and coming to the only possible conclusion: Mr. Black hitched a ride on a truck. (Visualize: squirrel with tattered suitcase and dreams of the big city.)

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Old Jul 19, 2004, 9:44 AM   #8
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Barbara, the answer to when and where black squirrels occur is not just a matter of how far north, but also a matter of genetics. The gene(s) for black phase coloration is probably a recessive one which expresses more in the more northern areas of the squirrel's range (who knows, maybe black squirrels are less visible to predators in the north or perhaps they are more prone to diseases prevalent in the south). So, that doesn't mean that the black phase won't occur in the southern regions, but just that it is less likely to express in the southern regions. There will probably always be local pockets of black squirrels throughout the squirrel's range.

Does that make any sense to you?
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Old Jul 19, 2004, 11:04 AM   #9
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geoffs wrote:
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Does that make any sense to you?
Yes, it does. Also, it never occurred to me that, just because I haven't seen any black ones locally doesn't mean they don't exist here. I can't believe I fell into that (black) hole of "If I don't see it, it doesn't exist."
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Old Jul 19, 2004, 11:06 AM   #10
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geoffs wrote:
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Does that make any sense to you?
(Sure wish we'd get back the ability to delete double posts!)
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