Golden Tails

The engine doesn’t match the caboose…

One of the more common chromatic aberrations you might see on a common grey squirrel is a bright golden or orange-ish colored tail that stands out from the rest of its body.  I’ve long noticed this phenomenon in squirrels, and though it can be seen at almost any time of the year… I only recently realized that this feature apparently peaks in late Spring.  And for that knowledge, I have Google to thank for directing gold tail squirrel searches to my blog for this post in particular.

My views by month chart shows that hits for that gold tail squirrel post have peaked in the late Spring months since the post landed on Google’s radar in 2020.  Looking back at some of my park trips, I’ve sure enough captured a lot of these golden guys in the month of June, which seems to be peak blonde tail season here.  And this week’s amber tailed Saturday Squirrel falls right in line having been taken a couple weeks ago on June 3rd.

Even black squirrels, who are just a pigment variant of grey squirrels, are not immune to the Springtime blonde tail phenomenon!

Have a great weekend everyone!


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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18 Responses to Golden Tails

  1. Rivergirl says:

    I’ve only seen a few up here. They’re quite dramatic though.

  2. noelleg44 says:

    Something I did not know!

  3. Sun bleaches squirrel tails just like it does our hair around the pool. Pretty cool.

  4. Gotta have that spring outfit!

  5. Our backyard is full of squirrel babies right now. Those miniature red squirrels are adorable. I don’t have any new pictures because there’s some kind of karma at work. I can watch the squirrels all day and all is well. I take out my camera and point it? Suddenly, not a squirrel or bird in sight.

    Those little red babies have very red tails, much redder than the rest of them. They look like they’ve been dyed. Lots of chromatic aberrations in birds right now too.

    • Youngins tend to have the odd tail colors more often than the adults. I’m pretty sure that’s the tail underfur exposed, I’ve seen squirrels in various stages of “blonde/gray” (or I guess red/redder in your case) and the odd color is the underfur exposed during molting.

  6. draliman says:

    Not one to buck the Spring tail trend. No squirrel wants to feel left out.

  7. They say blondes have more fun – just ask your neighborhood squirrel!


  8. mydangblog says:

    Up the road from us, we keep seeing a black squirrel with a really red tail—not a common sight. Will it turn to black later in the summer then?

    • My theory is that the lighter color is the underfur. I think squirrels go through regular tail fur shedding, and when it grows back in, the odd color will be gone. I’ve got pics of a squirrel who had patches of gray mixed with the blonde/orange undercoating, and you could tell the gray patches were thicker. it also looked like a raccoon!

  9. Seasonal color is always in vogue! Mona

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