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White Squirrel

White Squirrel
Photo Information
Copyright: Karan Little (hester) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-12-07
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon 40D, Canon 100 - 400 L IS USM
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/100 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): TN Classics [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-12-12 11:06
Viewed: 5407
Points: 66
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This is not technically perfect but I had the one chance to get a single shot between spotting him and the squirrel shooting up a tree. I was so surprised to see him. He is not an albino as he has a grey ring around his tail and grey eyes.

I took this at a small lake near my home

Thanks to Pekka I now know this fellow is Leucistic

Leucism from Wikipedia
Leucism is a condition characterized by reduced pigmentation in animals. Unlike albinism, it is caused by a reduction in all types of skin pigment, not just melanin.

Leucism is a general term for the phenotype resulting from defects in pigment cell differentiation and/or migration from the neural crest to skin, hair or feathers during development. This results in either the entire surface (if all pigment cells fail to develop) or patches of body surface (if only a subset are defective) having a lack of cells capable of making pigment.

Since all pigment cell-types differentiate from the same multipotent precursor cell-type, leucism can cause the reduction in all types of pigment. This is in contrast to albinism, for which leucism is often mistaken. Albinism results in the reduction of melanin production only, though the melanocyte (or melanophore) is still present. Thus in species that have other pigment cell-types, for example xanthophores, albinos are not entirely white, but instead display a pale yellow colour.

More common than a complete absence of pigment cells is localized or incomplete hypopigmentation, resulting in irregular patches of white on an animal that otherwise has normal colouring and patterning. This partial leucism is known as a "pied" or "piebald" effect; and the ratio of white to normal-coloured skin can vary considerably not only between generations, but between different offspring from the same parents, and even between members of the same litter. This is notable in horses, cows, cats, dogs, the urban crow[1] and the ball python[2] but is also found in many other species.

A further difference between albinism and leucism is in eye colour. Due to the lack of melanin production in both the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) and iris, albinos typically have red eyes due to the underlying blood vessels showing through. In contrast, leucistic animals have normally coloured eyes.[citation needed] This is because the melanocytes of the RPE are not derived from the neural crest, instead an outpouching of the neural tube generates the optic cup which, in turn, forms the retina. As these cells are from an independent developmental origin, they are typically unaffected by the genetic cause of leucism.

pekkavalo1, eng55, boreocypriensis, Juyona, CeltickRanger, jaycee, eqshannon, goldyrs, gracious, maurydv, JoseMiguel, uleko, horia, xTauruSx, sranjan, Alex99, siggi, anilnediyara, Heaven, SunToucher has marked this note useful
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To pekkavalo1: leucistichester 1 12-12 13:42
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-12-12 11:36]

Hi Karan. I have never seen a squirrel like this before. You were lucky to have got a picture well seen and taken. Its tail looks like a brush cleaner. You atill have good detail in the white coat. well done TFS.

Have a good weekend.

Hi Karan,
Wow never see befor nice picture ,good shot end the color is good
nice job. It looks like a white mouse with a tail amazing pic

Hi Karan,
It looks like it could be leucistic like the Blackbird I posted some time ago. Very good capture with good POV and composition, sharp details, BG could be separately blurred a bit more. Excellent picture for a fast one shot.

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2008-12-12 13:07]

Hi Karan,
Very nice capture.This white squirrel is new to me.Low level POV,details and framing are wonderful.
Thanks for posting.

Hi Karan,
A lovely and perfect capture of this cute fellow. i love the BG in this shot too. Wonderful colours ands details.
TFS and have a nice weekend,


Hi Karan,
that shot is wonderful, the white squirrel is so lovely and you captured it so perfect.
Amazing shot, thanks so much, bye
Sabine - wishnugaruda

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2008-12-12 14:51]

Hola amiga,
sensational work friend,
surprising capture and pov.
good focus and nice bg,
saludos Karen

hello Karan

beautiful shot of the albinos squirrel with fine POV, DOF
and framing, beautfiul luminosity of the image,
excellent sharpness and details, TFS


Hola Karan, parece que paosó para tí esta bella ardilla blanca que yo nunca había visto, aunque la verdad es que del tipo de color marrón cada día quedan menos en mi zona. Has conseguido una buena pose en ese acertado plano inclinado.
Un trabajo precioso.
Saludos: J. Ignasi.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-12-12 17:47]

Hi Karan,

There were lots of squirrels in NY and NY when I loved there but I never saw a white one like this! I love the pose and the sparkle in his eye. Very natural colors and fine details. Even his whiskers show off clearly. His bushy grey and white tail is adorable as are the little pink ears. A lovely setting and a nice composition.


It is the first one I have seen, nor before now did I think such a thing existed....Your image is worth quite a bit considering how well you did in a technical way and the super chance you had to get it!

This is a splendid shot, Karan.Perfectly timed and pretty sharp...I love the OOF BG.Never seen anything quite like this beauty!

Hello Karan,
Thank you for sharing this beautiful White Squirrel that I first seen! Gorgious!
I loved that white lights upon it
best dof with sharpness, good colour and details
wishing you a happy festive season in UK
your mate Tony

Ciao Karan,
splendida immagine, eccellenti POV e composizione con la bella postura dello scoiattolo (interessanti le note su albinismo e leucismo), buona la definizione, ottima esposizione con una buona resa dei colori, molto bella l'ambientazione con i contrasti di luce soffusa del sottobosco.

Hi Karan,
The pose is absolutely fantastic, in despite of having so little time to ged ready and press the shutter.
I like a lot the good light, fine rendition of the fur, and composition.
The blurry greens at the background makes a beautiful contrast with the subject.
My compliments and thanks for share.
Best regards,

  • Great 
  • erve Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 96 W: 3 N: 131] (620)
  • [2008-12-13 2:18]

hi karan.

This is a great find! i cant see any fault in it technically. good sharpness and Dof, with a excellent informative note.



  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-12-13 2:44]

Hello Karan,
What a brilliant capture of this lovely little white Squirrel. Amazing what you manage to find!! You got it in a lovely pose and in nice light. Details are very sharp and the composition beautiful! Excellent work!
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-12-13 3:58]

Hi Karan

A very nice find here! I think we see very few of such specimens around here :)
Initially i have to confess i thought it was an albino, but after reading your notes i have to agree with you, he's not.
However, he looks more like a polar type with such a coloration...doesn't quite blend in now :))
Even if the tail is not in perfect focus, i think you did great under the condition and manage to present us something beautiful and original.
Well done!

Bravo and TFS

Hello Karan
wonderful capture of this cute white squirel with nice details, POV and composition.

Hi Karan,

Never knew there is a white squirrel :). Excellent capture.

Hello Karan,
I do agree with many & you too that this is a unique white specimen not an albino. Pekka could tell us about leucism and I appreciate that. TFS.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-12-13 10:01]

Hi Karan
What a beauty you managed to met and pictured. I also have never met such species. Wonderful scene and you have composed and framed it perfectly. DOF and details of the squirrel, ground on FG as well as illumination and blurriness of the BG are amazing. My compliments and TFS.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-12-13 12:12]

Hello Karan
Great capture of the cute White Squirrel.
Nicely composed with a great POV and a great pose.Nice sharp details , lovely natural colours.Best regards

Hello Karan

I prefer the Leucistic variety to albino.The normal eye makes the animal more attractive.
For a one shot deal you managed a very good POV and lots of sharp detail.
The composition has a nice diagonal flow,the OOF BG is lovely.
Wonderful colours.
You done good!


hello karan,
beautiful capture of the squirrel, i liked the pose, the eye contact and the falling sunlight on white fur,
well done,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-12-14 14:02]

Hi Karan,
a very good photo of this Leucistic Squirrel!
I've never seen anything like it! :-)
Very sharp with great detail.
Superb composition.

Very well done,

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-12-14 17:59]

Hi Karan,
Wonderful shot and I see this variation for the first time. Very neat and sharp image with perfect lighting, DOF and POV. I like that tail and the expressive eyes. The notes are very educational too.
TFS this fine image.

Hi Karen,
This is a price catch and you have done a excellent job, Nice pose and back light makes the squirrel stand out. TFS

  • Great 
  • Heaven Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 996 W: 123 N: 2341] (7912)
  • [2008-12-14 23:14]

Hi Karan!

The lack of technical perfection is well compensated by the unique content of the picture. Indeed, this phenomenon is surprising and amazing. And, by the way, I would like to say the the picture doesn't show important technical lackness. Maybe the background is a bit vivid and disturbing. But I find the picture fine and pleasant.

Kind regards


Hi Karan,
I've seen grey and red squirrels but never a red one. Thanks to Pekka to explain how this 'mutation and thanks to you for capturing it in, what I think, a wonderful and perfect photo. The pose gives a real sence of speed and cautious.
I like you very low POV and the sharp details in his coat. The OOF BG brings out the white perfectly.

Ciao Karan, lovely portrait of cute creature in nice pose, perfect focus and splendid sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-12-19 11:19]

Hello Karan,
I've missed this beauty. Great photo in splendid colours and sharpness. The low POV is excellent. Very nice pose.

Hello Karan,
Good self-critique;-)
You did what you could. You didn't have the amount of light you needed. That said the same available light was beautiful. Add to this the nice pose of this white squirrel.
Not a White Christmas but a White squirrel:-)

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