Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Black Squirrels Take Over Britain?

(Art by Anthony Russo.)

As you may know from earlier posts, there's a squirrel war raging across the Atlantic. Slowly but surely, grey squirrels have been invading every last inch of the British Isles, endangering their cuter, more colorful red squirrel cousins.

But now there's been an unexpected entry into the battle. Black squirrels, the friskiest, most fearsome squirrels of all have been seizing ground from the reds AND the greys. And I'm sad to report, it may be our (America's) fault.

Scientists have already traced the invasion of grey squirrels to a pair of American squirrels which were released into the wild in 1892. (Sorry about that!) But until recently, no one knew where the black squirrels (which were first spotted 90 years ago) had come from.

Now we know that the black squirrels taking over Britain are all the descendants of American black squirrels that escaped from zoos. (Again, so sorry!)

You can read more here. I just have one question . . . There's a small population of black squirrels here in New York. (In fact, there's one that lives in the garden behind my house.) They're badly behaved, sure. But they haven't exactly kicked all the other squirrels out of town. What makes the British so sure that they're taking over the country? Just because they're Americans doesn't mean they're all bad!

(Below: Red, Grey or Black? Where do your loyalties lie?)

BREAKING NEWS: I had no idea when I wrote this post that January 21st (aside from being my mother's birthday--happy b-day, Big K!) is SQUIRREL APPRECIATION DAY!!!


Anonymous Green leaf said...

Am I the only male kiki strike fan?

3:24 PM  
Blogger Emerald said...

Personally, I'm partial to the color black, but the red squirrels are the cutest! If Great Britain is mad at us Americans because of SQUIRRELS then they need to loosen up and pick their battles better.

3:27 PM  
Blogger Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City said...

Green Leaf: Not at all! You're in good company. I've found that male Kiki Strike fans are an exceptional breed.

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Green leaf said...


3:53 PM  
Blogger Dahlia said...

Awww, those squirrels are sooo cute!!!!!!!! I like the red and black ones the most.
I wish the squirrels could all just get along. I love squirrels!!! (I even have an Invader Zim shirt that says "Me and the Squirrel are friends")

4:11 PM  
Anonymous Isabela said...

Squirrels's wars.That's...unusual at least.I found all of them cute anyway.

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Isabela said...

Squirrels's wars.That's...unusual at least.I found all of them cute anyway.

4:15 PM  
Blogger mccincol said...

We have tons of of black squirrels here in New York (I'm sure you know that, Kirsten).

Since I just moved here from the midwest, I was a little freaked out when I saw five black squirrels converging in my front yard.

I might've ran outside screaming like a maniac. Waving a rake. At the (black) squirrels.

But to be fair, they're a little intimidating.

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Hazel said...

They're all cute! I'll always have a special place in my heart for the red ones, though, because they remind me of Germany.

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

am i the only one who likes the plain american grey squirrel?
although i have to admit that the red ones are cute!!

6:33 PM  
Blogger Kitty said...

The squirrels where I live are really frightening... O.o For one thing, they don't hibernate [they run around the neighborhood like crazy]. Second, they like to scare people. I remember when I was little, I took a nice walk outside and saw a squirrel on a tree screeching at me. It somehow managed to screech, cough, dance, and glare at me at the same time. ^^' Plus, they're not scared of people... They're like the rats in Shadow City lol

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

blacka r the cutest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Black! So cute! I'm tired of seeing all the brown ones around where I live...

7:47 PM  
Blogger Quarguana said...

I'm partial to the grays. We used to have (before we moved) at least a dozen little grays in the back yard. One was so tame that it would sit on a tree branch at the edge of the yard while I refilled the bird feeder. Though the reds here are adorable.

7:50 PM  
Anonymous eternal espionage said...

Oh my! The Red's tufty ears are soooooo cute!

8:21 PM  
Blogger Dame Orchid said...

Those squirrels are so cute. They just scream "take my picture". But the red one is my favorite, followed by the black one, then the gray on.

10:10 PM  
Blogger sprizzle said...

I love squirrels! My brother is in the First Lego League (it's robotics), and his team name is the "Super nutty ozone protecting squirrels". I love the name! Hehehehe.

10:29 PM  
Blogger Dahlia said...

Why only appreciate squirrels one day out of the year??? I appreciate squirrels' cute adorableness every single day. :)

10:52 PM  
Blogger V said...

I think I know which one is Kiki's favorite . . .

11:23 PM  
Blogger Irregular Kiki said...

Those squirrels are so cute!! I've never seen a real squirrel.

12:58 AM  
Blogger Irregular Kiki said...

I'd like to watch Rocky and Bullwinkle (one of the celebration ideas on the link).

12:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, yes, but what about the Giant Malaysian Squirrels that mug people and steal important backpacks?

3:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

im w/ red

9:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

red red red go go go red !!!!

12:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

squirrels are my favorite photo subjects. they are so crafty and fearless(we have greys in our area) i like the red squirrels the most- their ears are cute

6:54 PM  
Anonymous UU said...

Red squirrels=cutest
Black squirrels=coolest
Grey squirrels=most boring

Squirrels are apparently tougher than we think-Kasper had a point!

6:59 PM  
Anonymous liltomboyblue said...

Emerald: That's EXACTLY what I thought!!! xD

Green Leaf: Ha ha, not at all! I think guys who like Kiki Strike really are bred better. ;) Right Kirsten?

3:53 PM  
Anonymous ~Guesswho13~ said...

I like the black ones, but they are all super cute!

1:34 PM  
Anonymous 42 said...

I think I must side with the Grey squirrel, as it is the more popular type in my area, and the type of my blood brother.

11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I first saw black squirrels in NYC I thought that they were just filthy grey squirrels. I was amazed to find out that they really were black.

10:10 AM  

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