Here in Columbus, most of our eastern gray squirrels are actually gray. That wasn't so where I grew up. About half of the squirrels were jet black. This mix of squirrels was always blamed on Kent State University, a rumored epicenter for the melanistic black squirrels in Northeastern Ohio.
In our yard in Columbus, we have an abundance of gray squirrels. It seems at any time of day, I only have to look out one windows to see these furry creatures. The individual pictured below was was perching on our "accent rock" in front of our house. It makes quite a nice squirrel perch.
Scratching an itch......
So since I most often see gray squirrels that are actually gray, I was fairly surprised to see this darker furred animal in the box-elder from which our feeders hang. It isn't the typical melanistic squirrel that I'm used to seeing. A look at its tail reveals some brownish-tan hairs, and even his back hair is not jet black. Still, a unique individual for the yard, and I'll be sure to keep my on the feeder to see if any more melanistic squirrels visit.
I'm curious, does anyone else have black eastern gray squirrels where you live?