Everything you've wanted to know about squirrels — but were too afraid to ask

Fascinated — and frustrated — by the squirrels in his neighbourhood, CBC Windsor reporter Jonathan Pinto reached out to squirrel expert John Koprowski.

Fascinated by neighbourhood squirrels, CBC's Jonathan Pinto reached out to squirrel expert John Koprowski

The eastern grey squirrel, while normally grey and white, can also be found in all-black and all-brown variations, says squirrel expert John Koprowski. (D. Gordon E. Robertson/Wikimedia Commons)

I recently moved to Riverside, one of Windsor's older neighbourhoods. It's full of beautiful trees, including one in my front yard.

As a result, my street is also full of squirrels.

John Koprowski is a professor of wildlife and fisheries conservation at the University of Arizona in Tuscon, Ariz. (University of Arizona)

Growing up, I lived in newer subdivisions, which didn't have many. So in my new neighbourhood, I've become fascinated — and frustrated — with the animals. As we settled into our new home, I found myself compiling a list of questions about my furry neighbours, including:

  • Most of the squirrels on my street are black, but there's one with a slightly more brownish hue. Am I seeing things?
  • Should my neighbours really be feeding the squirrels?
  • Why are so many of them losing patches of fur recently?

For answers, I reached out to John Koprowski, co-author of a book called Squirrels of the World and professor at the University of Arizona. Though currently based in Tucson, Ariz., Koprowski grew up near Cleveland, Ohio and has been to Windsor many times.

Koprowski was kind enough to patiently answer all my questions — and more.

Tap on the audio player to hear me tell Afternoon Drive host Chris dela Torre about some of the highlights of that conversation.

Everything you've wanted to know about squirrels but were too afraid to ask. Jonathan Pinto told us about his conversation with one of the world's foremost squirrel experts, University of Arizona professor John Koprowski. 11:33

About the Author

Jonathan Pinto

Jonathan Pinto is a reporter/editor at CBC Windsor, primarily assigned to Afternoon Drive, CBC Radio's regional afternoon show for southwestern Ontario. Email


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