We took a little drive through south Georgia to deliver a Christmas present and have a quick visit with family. At one point, B turned onto a country road and there beside the road were two fox squirrels. At my request he turned the car around and we went back, only to discover that there were three fox squirrels: two were light-colored and the one away from the other two was dark on its top and light underneath. The other two scampered off and this one headed for high branches. But at one point I was able to get this picture.
A few weeks ago, our son D was at Tall Timbers Research Station working on his—what else?---research. He took this picture of a fox squirrel that was a little more cooperative. I think this one actually posed for the camera.
What a variation there is in their coloring! Sciurus niger shermani or Sherman’s fox squirrels are the ones we have here. Niger, meaning black.
This is its description from the Florida Natural Areas Inventory: A large (23 - 28 in.) tree squirrel with highly variable dorsal fur color ranging from nearly all black (uncommon) to silver, with variations of black over silver and silver over black. Underside is tan. Head is generally black; ears and muzzle are often white. Tail is long, nearly the length of the head and torso.
This webpage had some information about some research at Jacksonville University on these critters and the positive impact of fire on their habitats.