blonde tail squirrel - side view

Blonde Squirrels – Nature’s Fascinating World

Hold onto your acorns because we’re about to dive into the dazzling world of the blonde squirrels! Prepare for a burst of sunshine! I’m here to tell you that they are real and a sight to behold. In this blog, we’re going beyond the surface-level fluffiness and diving into the science behind their rare and stunning coloration.

Blonde Squirrel Explanation

What are Blonde Squirrels?

Blonde squirrels are a special kind of squirrel with light yellow or cream-colored fur, not the usual grey or red. This happens because of a rare change in their genes that makes their fur lighter. You can find these squirrels in both the Eastern grey, fox and the red squirrel groups. Consider yourself very lucky if you’ve seen one because they are pretty hard to come by!

blonde squirrels - squirrel sitting at desk

Introduction to the World of Blonde Squirrels

The world of blonde squirrels is a fascinating one. These animals are pretty rare, but what makes them unique is their unusual fur color. Blonde squirrels have a golden-brown coloration in their fur, which gives them a unique appearance. This phenomenon is usually seen in Eastern Gray Squirrels, although it can also occur in Fox squirrels.

To better understand the world of blonde squirrels, let’s look at the science behind their rare color.

The Science Behind the Rare Blonde Tailed Squirrels

So, here’s the scoop on those charming blonde-tailed squirrels. It all comes down to something called a genetic mutation called melanism. This mutation affects how their bodies make a pigment called melanin, which gives color to their fur.

In regular squirrels, the melanin pigment spreads evenly throughout their fur, making it darker. But in the case of these special blonde-tailed squirrels, the melanism mutation causes the melanin to stick to certain parts of their fur, making it lighter in color. That’s why their fur has that lovely golden-brown shade that makes them stand out from the crowd.

Recessive Gene in Blonde Squirrels

Now, this particular gene that causes the blonde color is what we call a recessive gene. It means it’s not always passed on from the squirrel’s parents to their little ones. It’s like a secret surprise that pops up now and then in squirrel families, making some of them have that fantastic blonde tail.

It’s like having a cool paintbrush that only colors specific parts of their fur, creating a unique and beautiful look. So, next time you spot one of these adorable blonde-tailed squirrels, you’ll know it’s all thanks to this fascinating genetic mutation called melanism. Nature sure knows how to surprise us!

blonde squirrels - squirrel descending tree

Blonde Eastern Grey Squirrel

This means that the blonde-tailed squirrels are not a distinct species but a population of animals with the same mutation. This mutation can only be passed on to their offspring if both parents carry it.

Instead of the usual gray attire, these fashion-forward squirrels rock a range of light-colored fur, from a trendy light tan or beige to a luxurious creamy or pale grayish hue. They’re like the supermodels of the squirrel world, strutting their stuff and making heads turn wherever they go.

But don’t worry, their fancy fur doesn’t change who they are on the inside. These blonde beauties still keep all the classic squirrel features we know and love. They’ve got that medium-sized body, a fluffy tail you could mistake for a feather boa, and those amazing acrobatic skills that would make any Cirque du Soleil performer jealous.

Blonde Fox Squirrel

Blonde fox squirrels are a delightful and eye-catching variation of the typical fox squirrel. These charming creatures boast stunning fur coats ranging from light golden hues to creamy blondes, making them stand out in any natural setting.

Where Do Blonde Squirrels Live?

The geographical distribution of blonde squirrels is quite interesting. While they are not found in every region, they are in some parts of the United States and Canada.

In the United States, they are most commonly found in the Midwest, Great Lakes region, and parts of the Northeast. They can be found in British Columbia and parts of Ontario in Canada.

blonde tail squirrel - eating a nut

Popular Sightings

The most popular sightings of blonde squirrels come from the University of Michigan campus. Here, they are commonly seen in the Arboretum and North Campus.

Also, there have been reports of sightings in other parts of the United States, such as Arkansas, Illinois, North Carolina, and New York.

blonde squirrel eating in the front yard
Angela H. from North Carolina wanted to share her neighborhood squirrel with her blonde tail Eastern Grey squirrel! Thanks, Angela

The Behavior of Blonde Squirrels

The behavior of blonde squirrels is quite similar to that of other squirrel species, with slight differences, like being more active during the day.

They are also more social, often congregating in large groups. This behavior is likely because their lighter color makes them more visible to predators.

blonde squirrels -peanugget
“Peanugget” photo courtesy of wildlife rehabber K. Carpenter @omakoda on IG

Looking for a Rehabber? Here are 3 Resources

Studying the Diet and Habitat of Blonde Squirrels

The diet and habitat of blonde squirrels are important areas of study for researchers. By studying their diet and habitat, researchers can better understand the species and how it fits into its ecosystem.

blonde squirrel drinking from a water fountain
Vivian J. shares her neighborhood squirrel named “Billy Idol!” Billy keeps rockin’ at her home in Naperville, Illinois! Thanks for sharing, Vivian.

Studies have shown that blonde squirrels prefer the same diet as other squirrels, including nuts and seeds and fruits and vegetables. They also tend to inhabit forests and wooded areas with abundant trees and vegetation.

blonde tail squirrel - side view

Conservation of Blonde Squirrels

Given the rarity of blonde squirrels, protecting and conserving them is important. Researchers study their behavior, diet, and habitats to do this.

In addition, conservationists are working to protect the habitats of these animals. This can be done by creating sanctuaries and protected areas safe from human interference.

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The Future of Blonde Squirrels Looks Bright!

The future of blonde squirrels looks bright. With the conservation efforts currently underway, the population of these animals is sure to increase.

Also, researchers are continuing to study the species better to understand the blonde squirrel’s biology and behavior.

blonde tailed squirrels -squirrel eating a nut

Conclusion

The world of blonde squirrels is a fascinating one. From the science behind their rare color to the conservation efforts to keep them safe, there is much to learn about these animals.

I hope this blog has given you a better understanding of the fascinating world of blonde squirrels. Check out the Free VIP Squirrel Scoop Insider Magazine or follow us on social media for more updates.

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27 Comments

  1. How very interesting, I’d love to see one of these types of Squirrels.
    I wonder if some similar gene was responsible for Chloé’s tail turning golden.

  2. I was looking out my window and saw something I’d never seen before – what looked to be a “blond” squirrel! Luckily it jumped up on my window sill and I was able to get some pictures. Naturally I had to look it up and came across your blog. Wanted to share that I had seen a blond squirrel in California.

    1. I, too, saw a blonde squirrel today. At first I thought it was a small cat. It had blonde and white coloring. So beautiful! It was on my deck and just sat their watching me. I turned to get my camera but when I came back, it was gone. I live near Lake Nacimiento in California.

      1. They sure are fast! In a blink of an eye, they are gone. Thank you for sharing your spotting in California! I hope you get another chance to capture a photo. Maddy

  3. adrienne

    we took a ride in nj something we do alot retired in the new hope area of nj

    i could not believe it a true blonde beige squirrel the tail was so fully big a whole

    blonde beige
    we took a ride in pa there is a park we saw a pure white fox 1-28-2023

  4. I saw my first ever blonde sqirrel today in Norman, Oklahoma. I submitted a picture but not sure it went through. If not, please let me know.

  5. I live in northern Durham County, North Carolina. In the spring of 2020, I noticed an occasional grey squirrel with an unusually light tail. This spring 2023 there are quite a few grey squirrels with very blond tails. How interesting!

  6. Oh yes we have a blond squirrel! We live in Naperville a suburb of Chicago IL. We have been watching her for two years. We thought she may have been a boy. So we named her Billy. For Billy I Idol. Now we see many male squirrels following her around. Oh well! We feed her nuts everyday. She sits in out cedar tree and waits. She is very aggressive to other squirrels. She gets in lots of fights with the other gray squirrels. One day a hawk was trying to get her. I scared it away. We are very fond of her. We watch her every day! Thanks for the article.

    1. Hi Vivian,

      Thank you for watching out for “Billy Idol!” I love that blonde hair reference. Yes, twice a year that behavior of the chase happens. I’m sure Billy is exhausted. Thank you for sharing your experience with us and for seeing that she has snacks and is safe!!
      Maddy ?️

  7. We have a blonde squirrel in our neighborhood in Savannah, GA.
    I thought I was seeing things until my wife and other neighbors saw her. Not sure of sex, it’s a gut feeling it’s a she.

  8. I live in Dickinson, Texas. This morning I saw a blonde squirrel running up and down a tree at the end of my street. I had to stop and watch it. I didn’t know there was such a thing! Very fun to see.

  9. I like scattering nuts for my local squirrels to eat and recently i’ve had a fat blonde squirrel visit me quite often. Quickly realized she was pregnant as she would bring her partner along with her for meals. Surprisingly, he also has beautifully rare light gray fur. Now im very excited to see their babies and really enjoyed learning some more about her. I live in a suburb near Chicago in Illinois and blonde squirrels are commonly spotted here. Thank you!

  10. We have a blonde squirrel in our front yard at Winding Brook Farm in Warrington, PA. Hopefully our dog does not catch it, as it’s home seems to be the same tree we keep our dog house near. It is very beautiful!

    1. Lori,
      That is so awesome, thank you so much for sharing that with Kitty City Squirrels. Let’s hope your four-legged friend behaves toward the squirrel LOL!
      Maddy

  11. I live in South Carolina, these past few years I have approx. 13 of these squirrels on my property, they eat out back under the maple tree everyday and then head for the big oaks where their nests are. I really did not know that they are considered “rare”….yep, that is interesting.

  12. We have a few living in our part of the neighborhood in central Ohio. It’s so funny to see them running around with the grey ones. I’ve seen pictures of white ones on our neighborhood app. I have not seen a white one myself. I’m happy with the blondes living right by my house! I feed all the animals peanuts 🥜. The crows and the squirrels eat together sometimes the squirrels chase the crows away. The blue jays love peanuts also! It’s fun to watch them enjoy their lives from my windows!!! Now when I watch the blondes running around I’m going to think supper models every time. 🥰🥰🥰

    1. That’s right, Elizabeth….the super models of squirrels. Thank you so much for sharing your joy and sharing treats with your neighborhood squirrels and the blue jays! Sounds like you have your own reality tv show right outside your window. Thank you so much for your support by visiting the Kitty City Squirrels website.

      Maddy 🙂

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