About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

White baby red squirrels

Pale leucistic baby red squirrel
Pied leucistic baby red squirrel. She has a bright white star on her forehead.
Baby learning what is edible
We had a couple unusual visitors at the East Lansing Wild Birds Unlimited store this week. A momma Red Squirrel brought two of her kids up to feed on pincones right outside my window. Not that strange except her offspring were white. One was a pale cream with white patches and one was so pale she was almost white.

They were quite healthy and caught on quickly how to consume pine cones efficiently. Their coloration is from a condition known as Leucism, or reduced pigmentation.
Regular red squirrel eating pine cone
Right now scientist describe two kinds of Leucistic animals, pale and pied. Pale leucistic animals will have the same markings, but extremely pale. Pied Leucistic animals have patches of white. Leucism is relatively unusual but much more common than albino animals which are completely white with pink eyes.

Related Articles:
- Do Birds GoWhite Feathered in Old Age? http://bit.ly/zj2nVM
- Leucism in birds http://bit.ly/wNnSTz 
- How to have more colorful birds at your feeder http://bit.ly/yTJjPd
- How Many Species of Squirrels are in Michigan? http://goo.gl/Hz0N4q
- What American Red Squirrels Eat http://goo.gl/ktqWLB
Try to get these twins moving in the same direction!