The Life of a White Squirrel

by Cindi SutterFounder & Editor of Spirited Table®  - additional facts from Suzie Chadwick and documented by Shiroma Silva BBC News.

I’m usually out of bed no later than 6-6:30. Except for the fact the sun rises very early during a Minnesota summer, so this year on occasion my wake time was a 5-something. YUCK! But how does that ridiculous saying go? The early bird gets the worm?? Well, three mornings this summer I spotted a white squirrel, or what I now know was an albino squirrel due to his/her red eyes.

The first time he was crunching on something, so since the odds (stated below) are one in 100,000 that a white squirrel is born, I ran as fast as I could for my camera. Thankfully he was so busy eating I got this photo of him running through the woods and across the railroad wooden wall in the marsh behind my house. Thankfully I took three photos the first time I saw him, as my camera has never been close enough to click, click since.

The fact I’ve seen him three times over a 6 month period is the only reason I’m writing this post. How would this squirrel’s Mom react when she birthed this white baby? Love, fear, envy of squirrel moms’ without an albino baby? Ok, I’ll stop. Maybe he’s viewed as prey since he stands out so much, but just maybe he’s not really bothered by being a different color. Who knows, maybe he views it as a white coat of armor. I can only speak for myself, but when I see a brown squirrel, they’re usually knocking all the food off the bird feeder and being a pest. But when I see this little guy he always makes me smile because he’s running around having fun or eating and he’s never on the feeder misbehaving.

I’m not claiming this post is a striking illustration of a life as a loner, or the fact he might have to find great places to hide during the day and run around more at night; or who knows vice versa? I’m trying to liken this to a celebration of diversity. I know. I know. He’s not human but don’t we always want to stand out for positive reasons, not the color of our skin?

I’m going with he was born to outperform the brown squirrels, and from my vantage point, he’s doing a great job. In other words, predators to squirrels such as hawks really like it when their prey is highlighted white and all I can say is he’s made it for about 6 months!

Here are two more photos of him dashing around. You’ll find more facts below from two sources. One of which is a white squirrel aficionado "He had a big scratch on his face after a fight last week," says Suzie, "but he keeps coming back because he seems to like a piece of the action." - You go cutie pie! Can we have an AMEN?!

The following data is according to Suzie Chadwick and documented by Shiroma Silva BBC News.

The odds of a squirrel being born white is thought to be about one in 100,000 - so when one turns up in your back garden it is certainly worth reaching for a camera. Rare albino squirrel pictured in Sussex garden - By Shiroma SilvaBBC News

That is what care worker Suzie Chadwick did when she spotted a rare albino squirrel in her garden in East Grinstead, Sussex. Find her link.

Grey squirrels - originally brought to Britain from North America - are now estimated to number around two and a half million, vastly outnumbering the native red squirrel.

But albinos remain a rarity.

The squirrel, whom Suzie believes to be male, has been visiting her garden almost every day for the past week.

She says he plays with other grey squirrels and fights over the peanuts, sunflower seeds and bread on offer in the feeder - with tempers occasionally boiling over.

"He had a big scratch on his face after a fight last week," says Suzie, "but he keeps coming back because he seems to like a piece of the action."

In all other aspects, such as size and behaviour, Suzie says he seems like an ordinary grey squirrel, frequently pushing the other squirrels off the feeder.

According to Suzie he is accepted by the other squirrels but likes to show he's in charge.

She says she has not got a name for her visitor yet - but Henry and Harry are currently her favourites.