Posts Tagged ‘Kaibab squirrel’


Generalists are very interesting, for as cute as the Abert’s squirrel is, they don’t live off the North American continent. It is very specialized to its habitat and to is peculiar food source.

Eastern gray squirrels are found in many European countries. South Africa has a few of them. And Australia did have them for a while.

If you can eat anything, you’ll be able to live anywhere. When I was in undergrad, I watched the local grays raid the dumpsters. They would run off with pancakes, pieces of bread, and anything else they could find.

Abert’s are found only in parts of the Southern Rockies. The Kaibab squirrel, a subspecies of the Abert’s, is found only on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and a small area of the Kaibab National Forest. It is a good example of geographic isolation producing a unique subspecies. (It was the textbook example of the phenomenon in my sixth grade science textbook.)


As I’ve written previously, the poor mast year has put the local squirrels on relief for the whole winter. The regular snowfall that we’re now receiving has forced them into eating lots of birdseed and corn out of our feeders.

We have two fox squirrels here who are so fat that they look like small groundhogs.

I’ll try to get photos of them, but these squirrels are hunted every year. They have a very real fear of people. They are nothing like suburban squirrels or those inhabiting parks.

In my immediate area, about one third of the grays are melanistic. Unfortunately, not a single one of them has come to our feeders. We’ve got a gray one with a blackish face, but no black solid black ones at all. When we’ve fed them in the front yard, we have had a few black ones show up, but virtually no fox squirrels visited. In the backyard, the fox squirrels dominate.


Please note, that we have American red squirrels here, although they are not that common. I prefer to call Sciurus niger the “fox squirrel,” while  I call Tamiasciurus hudsonicus is the “red squirrel.” I know this might cause some confusion for those regions of the country where the fox squirrel is called a red squirrel. To me, it’s not a red squirrel. It’s a fox squirrel. A red squirrel is something different.

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