Critters in our Neighborhood

Many interesting pets and various other animals can be seen in our neighborhood, but how often does one get to see an albino squirrel? Not often, I would guess. Therefore it was a blessing to receive this photo from Aiko Imura, a student visiting Carleton this fall from Chuo University in Tokyo. She was staying in a dormitory near Central Park, and happened to have her camera handy when she spotted this lovely animal in the park one day.

Albino squirrels are rare in Minnesota, but are common in some cities (Olney, IL; Marionville, MO; Kenton, TN; Brevard, NC; Exeter, ON) where they tend to be objects of intense community pride. They belong to the large family of Sciuridae, and should not be confused with white squirrels, which have dark eyes and are thus not true albinos. This photo shows that our denizen of Central Park is a true albino, with pink eyes.   Click on the photo to enlarge it.

We are grateful to Aiko for giving us all this chance to see an albino squirrel right in our own neighborhood.



Whitey, our albino squirrel







Barred owls have nested regularly in the hollow of a tree on E. First St. in Northfield,  also in the Arb.    Here is a typical female.




To our great surprise,  today, 7/7 /2018,  another owl appeared,  right in our back yard, on N. Maple St.   This however was a great horned owl.

We chased it away, fearing for our chipmunks and small cottontails.






Next, we’ve seen red foxes a number of times in our neighborhood.   This glimpse was in our back yard,  where he dined on food we put out for the crows and squirrels.

Red Fox







Here is a beautiful racing pigeon,  which hit our window and was fortunately not badly hurt.   Its tag indicated it originated in Illinois.    We found a pigeon racer in Faribault who came and adopted it.

Racer pigeon


Thomas Paine would probably enjoy this display of community cooperation.







These racoons like our gravel beds for their lavatory.

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