Colorado Photography of the American West

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10 June 2009

Abert's Squirrels on Stellers Ridge, Colorado

We have a squirrel. Actually we have several but we usually only see one at at time. Since we live in a ponderosa pine forest you might think, well of course you have squirrels. But these are not just any squirrels. They are solid black with tall ear tufts and look just like little demons scampering about the trees and taunting the dogs.

They are the Abert's Squirrel and are native to the Rocky Mountains from United States to Mexico. The Abert's squirrel typically builds its nest in the branches of the ponderosa pine and are strictly diurnal. The Abert's squirrel does not store its food like other North American squirrels.

I looked them up online and could not find the black variety we have living with us but I doubt they are rare. In fact, they seem quite plentiful and happy to be here with us on Stellers Ridge. I love watching their antics. They are faster than lightning and just as hard to capture with a camera, but I finally succeeded. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

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  1. ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I'm not a big fan of squirrels to begin with... ones with devil horns make me want to run and hide..... those are creepy!

  2. I have NEVER seen squirrels that look like that. NEVER want to see one. They look like a combination of a cat and bat. Julie, I hope they have no desire to migrate (smile).

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  4. They are totally adorable! Absolutely love the pics...I wanna pet one! I have always liked the "look" of the Alberts squirrels, but to see them in the black phase is even better! Thanks for the great post!

  5. whoa!! are you sure those aren't chupacabras? lol! ;p
    they are pretty awesome looking!
    thanks for sharing!

  6. Julie those are scary! I live up here in the northern Rockies and have never seen them. Aren't you lucky!

    I always enjoy your blog and want to pass along the "One Lovely Blog" award to you!

  7. The squirrels where I grew up were all black but they didn't have those crazy ears.

  8. I have never seen squirrels like that. We have a few white squirrls in Ohio though Last year I ended up with one peanut plant in the garden thans to Mr. Squirrel burying a peanut for me

  9. Wow, been through the whole range of Rockies from Canada into New Mexico and never saw a squirrel like this...waaay cool!

  10. Now come on folks. They are totally cute! LOL

    Gypsy, Thanks so much for the award!! I am honored!

  11. I remember seeing those squirrels outside of Estes Park! We had to do a double take and of course whoever we told about them didn't believe us since we didn't have pictures for proof!

  12. Yay Beaded Tail! I knew someone somewhere would have seen these guys before. I live about 40 miles from Estes and have seen them there too.

  13. I just returned from a week vacationing in Colorado. We had a couple of Albert's Squirrels visit us daily - didn't know what they were called until I did a search for Co. Squirrels and found this site. Our cabin (rented) was about 5 miles North of Cripple Creek. Thanks for the great photos.

  14. We also live in Colorado and see these adorable little guys every so often when we're up in the mountains. They are my favorite type of squirrels and are so cute. I have a big fluffy black cat that these squirrels remind me of. I always feel so lucky when we get to see them. It makes my day!

    1. Hi Make it Happen! So glad you stopped by. The Abert's squirrels are indeed fun to watch and a treat to see.

  15. These little demon looking squirrels are here at Wellington, too. They have been known to race with the tractors and 4 by 4 on the way to mitigate the areas that are being worked. They do tease my dogs here in the back yard and their chittering is very annoying. I thought they were "hairy rat looking" until I saw here online as" demon looking" and how common they are. Wow!!


Contemporary photography of the cities, landscapes, flora and fauna of the American West.
Julie Magers Soulen Photography