Black squirrels seem to be multiplying in Squirrel Hill and Schenley Park. This one was browsing for acorns in the Homewood Cemetery.
The black squirrel is the same species as the gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis); it is described as a “melanistic” phase, meaning that it has more of the dark pigment melanin. There is also a very rare white phase (a true phase, not albinism) of Sciurus carolinensis, but Father Pitt has never seen a white squirrel in Pittsburgh. The white phase is so rare, in fact, that each of its widely scattered habitats seems to regard itself as the only place in the world where white squirrels live. Father Pitt has seen them in Queenstown, Maryland, where they are a famous local sight.