Hi, we just found your blog and love it! I found you while Googling black squirrels. We’re in Livermore and get the usual reddish-brown tree squirrels coming to our back yard for peanuts. Recently a single black squirrel has been showing up, so we were curious about its origins. Still haven’t figured out where he came from.
Steve & Christy, Livermore, California
Steve & Christy:
The reddish-brown fox squirrels you normally see are not native. They are eastern fox squirrels, introduced in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1930s. Reddish-brown is the most common color, but they also come in black and gray phases, though not so common. The reddish fox squirrels are now pretty much all over. The black phase is often found in Palo Alto and Menlo Park, and for some reason, also in Livermore. Maybe someone raised some orphan babies there are released them? Anyway, that’s why they are occasionally seen in your area. /Gary