We have a strange phenomenon. One morning, I saw something out of the corner of my eye and turned to see a strange-looking squirrel on my back deck. I had never seen anything like it. Immediately, I thought it was albino due to the light color. I grabbed my camera and went outside and followed it. I stared hard at it. What on earth? It’s not albino. It has color to it’s fur. Albino means no pigment, there is still pigment here. It’s like a diluted colored regular Eastern Squirrel. As I was taking pictures with my long lens, I realized that it had pink eyes… I guess it is albino?
I looked it up on Google and I only found references of albino squirrels (white with pink eyes) white squirrels with dark eyes (a separate gene from albinos as they don’t have pink eyes), black squirrels, blonde squirrels (with dark eyes), but no blonde squirrel with pink eyes.
Well, this is different.
My daughter, the biochemistry major and rabbit gene expert, is fascinated and has done her own research. She has compared the genes in similar animals – here’s an Instagram post…. because she explains better than I do (yes, this is indeed how she talks – both of my offspring tend to hyperfocus in certain areas and become experts about certain things just because they love to research their interests).
So now it is getting close to the time where baby squirrels will be born and we are anxious to see if any more blonde squirrels show up. Erynn is afraid it is a recessive trait and unless another squirrel has the gene, it may not show up. Oh and as of now, from what we can see, it appears this blonde squirrel is a female.
I see her every day. She lives in our tree line out back with quite a few other normal gray squirrels. She is easy to spot because she practically glows in the trees, so we worry about her being easy prey to predators.
She was back up on my deck today so I finally got a closeup. I think she’s just beautiful!