Grey Squirrel, Black Squirrel

I grew up in the Montreal area from 1971 until 1986 (ages 4 to 20) and only knew grey squirrels. It was a surprise moving to Toronto and discovering black squirrels.

In fact, black squirrels predominate in the Toronto, Cornwall, and Ottawa regions.

I don't particularly like the black squirrels, I think they look like black rats and am much more partial to the grey ones.

Judge for yourself:

Photo credits:
Grey squirrel - me
Black Squirrel - here


Cavalock said…
Hey, thanks for the xmas ecard!

Speaking of squirrels, I used to grow up with squirrels (think they were brown) living right next to my bedroom window. It was pretty cool. My bedroom was on the 4th floor and at the same level as this huge old tree with its loooong branches. Some of these branches would almost reach into my room. And I could see the squirrels up in the tree. At nite, the bats came out. Good times. Maybe I’ll blog it someday.
We had both in Mississauga where I grew up, but here there are mainly American Black Squirrels. We had to call a Rodent Catcher once when the black ones got in our attic. They can be destructive but I was mad mostly because they ate 3 lb of expensive chocolate I had up there for gifts for people! NOT SQUIRRELS! They chewed on the Christmas tree skirt and had shoved it down between the outer walls getting ready to nest. "Squirrel-Man", as I called him, said we needed to get them out before the babies came since they'd chew on the wiring when they were teething and may start a fire! I was so terrified...we'd already had a garage fire due to squirrels chewing wires in which we lost our cat!
We set traps baited with peanut butter and got them, then found and covered where they got in.
Richard said…
cavalock: we used to have a squrrel's nest in the maple tree in front of our house.

MOI: I don't recall seeing any grey squirrels while in Toronto (Scarborough area). I didn't see them again until moving to Ottawa, where the odd grey one would be seen.

We had a squirrel once in our chimney, only discovered it after we lit a fire and it came bounding out and making a mess in the house.
RennyBA said…
We only have grey squirrel in Norway. They always fascinates me while I was playing in the woods when I was a child. Great pics Richard!
Matt said…
1. Everytime I hear the word squirrel or see one, I immediately think about UCLA. If you google squirrels and UCLA, you get 157 000 hits! Watch your step is all I have to say. Those squirrels are everywhere on campus!

2. That black one looks unreal. You sure it's alive? :)

3. Why is blogger so unbelievably slow right now?
Richard said…
rennyba: there are also chipmunks, but I don't have any photos of those. There are number of tehm at my parent's property.

matt: I will remember to bring squrrel food when I go to UCLA. I don't know about the black squirrel, I got it off a BBC site (where the caption said Black Squirrel in Ottawa). Some days, blogger is a pain - at least it is letting me upload pictures for the moment.
Coffee fairy said…
I find squirrels cute but a black squirrel! i haven't seen one but from the picture it looks scary! =S
KayMac said…
The first time I ever saw a black squirrel was during a high school field trip to Stratford. But now, I have seen a few black squirrels in my neighborhood.
Richard said…
coffee fairy: I have to agree, the black squrrels are not terribly cute in the least (notwithstanding that they are supposedly the same species as the grey squirrel - just black). The grey squirrels have bushier tails.

kaymac: Stratford, Ontario?
ric said…
Black Squirrels are very LUCKY.

Some history can be found at

Other stories can be found at /
Richard said…
@ric: wow! I didn't realize that so many people loved them. Hmmm ... still doesn't change my opinion about them I'm still partial to grey squirrels

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