My Encounter with a Delmarva Fox Squirrel

December 27, 2021

Delmarva Fox Squirrel Facts

The Delmarva fox squirrel is a subspecies of the fox squirrel. However, the Delmarva fox squirrel (Sciurus niger cinereus) is native to the Delmarva Region of the Eastern United States. The Delmarva Peninsula Region includes the Eastern Shores of Virginia and Maryland and the state of Delaware.

The physical description of the Delmarva fox squirrel is silver-grayish coat with a white belly and short, rounded ears with long, fluffy tail with streaks of black. This fox squirrel is a large squirrel that can grow to be 30 inches long, while its fluffy tail can reach 15 inches in length.

Delmarva fox squirrel (Sciurus niger cinereus) with nut in mouth climbing a tree on a late fall morning along the wildlife drive at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.


Delmarva fox squirrels prefer mature wooded areas or forests that are quiet. They favor the hardwood and pine trees with underbrush surrounding the trees. Also, this squirrel may often be found near farm fields and by groves of trees that are near water. This underbrush is essential cover for this fox squirrel successfully feeding on nuts and seeds. These nuts may come from trees such oaks, hickories, sweet gum, walnut, and loblolly pine. The nuts are an especially important part of the this fox squirrel’s diet during the fall season when these trees are dispersing with their seeds.

My Encounter with a Delmarva Fox Squirrel

On the weekend before Winter Solstice this year, I went to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Chincoteague NWR was the place that I took my very first wildlife images back in the early 1990’s and a place I have frequented over the years. However, it has been about ten years since I was last at Chincoteague NWR. I was very excited to be back at Chincoteague NWR and photographing the wildlife.

On this particular morning, while my spouse and I were driving along the Wildlife Drive from the Tom’s Cove area, we saw this big gray squirrel cross the road in front of us. Of course, I popped out of the car with my DSLR and Sigma 150-6oomm and started walking slowly along the side of the road. I found this large squirrel sitting on this tree branch with a large nut in its mouth. The moment I looked and saw this squirrel through my camera’s view finder, I knew it was a Delmarva fox squirrel.

Delmarva fox squirrel (Sciurus niger cinereus) sitting in tree with a nut in mouth along the Wildlife Drive on an early autmn morning at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

I had always been on the lookout for seeing one as I knew the Delmarva fox squirrel sighting was a possibility for every trip I had made to Chincoteague NWR. But, this last trip was the first time I was able to photograph this beautiful native species to the Delmarva Peninsula. I was able to get about 5 minutes with this Delmarva fox squirrel before the squirrel scampered away by quickly climbing higher in the tree and then jumping onto another tree. Quickly, the squirrel was gone and out of my sight. And just like that, my encounter with a Delmarva fox squirrel was over.

Conservation Status

Delmarva fox squirrel (Sciurus niger cinereus) holding a nut in hands while sitting in a tree along the Wildlife Drive at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

The Delmarva fox squirrel was once on the Endangered Species List as a subspecies of the fox squirrel. However, fox squirrels were removed from that list in 2015. One of the biggest efforts to save this species was to restore their habitat, which still continues today, to make sure that the Delmarva fox squirrel continues to thrive.  According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as of November 17, 2015, there were about 20,000 Delmarva fox squirrels living in the Delmarva Peninsula Region.

Thank you for reading my Field Notes Blog, and I hope you will share this post with others.

Let’s protect our wildlife and nature!

All the very best,


  • Black Swallowtail Butterfly: Caterpillar to Newly Emerged Butterfly
    The Eastern black swallowtail caterpillars undergo a very noticeable change in their appearance from the 1st and 2nd Instars to the 4th and 5th Instars. After the 5th instar caterpillar stage, a chrysalis is formed before the eclosed butterfly emerges.
  • Responsible Photography Presentation at James River Week
    In this presentation, conservation photographer, Lori A Cash, will share images that I have captured on or along the James River, talk about responsible photography and give techniques to help create fantastic landscape and wildlife images of the James River.
  • Images Published in Virginia’s 2024 Our Common Agenda
    I am pleased to announce that, once again, I had three of my images published in the 2024 Our Common Agenda, a briefing book about Virginia’s conservation policies
  • Photographing Flowers Indoors
    Photographing flowers indoors is not weather dependent and can be done anytime of the day especially using the natural light of a window in your home.
  • Scenes of Coastal Virginia Photography Exhibit Slideshow Video
    Slideshow video of Lori A Cash’s photography exhibit called Scenes of Coastal Virginia held at the Norfolk Botanical Garden in Norfolk, Virginia. This exhibit was held in the Baker Hall Visitor Center during the months of April and May 2023.

American Bullfrog American Bullfrog Sitting on Pine Needles backyard butterfly garden behind the scenes bird photography birds birds of prey black swallowtail caterpillars brown pelican bullfrogs butterflies caterpillars conservation flowers Fort Monroe National Monument Frogs Hampton Roads insects in the field Lori A Cash marine mammals milkweed monarch butterflies monarch butterfly monarch conservation NANPA nature nature photography Nature Photography Day Norfolk Botanical Garden osprey photo exhibit photography pollinators publication published raptors red foxes red fox kit seascapes songbirds sunrise sunrises swallowtail caterpillars tips Virginia Virginia Conservation Network Virginia wildlife Virginia wildlife conservation whooping cranes wild horses wildlife wildlife conservation wildlife photography Zazzle products

2 replies to “My Encounter with a Delmarva Fox Squirrel

Leave a Reply

close-alt close collapse comment ellipsis expand gallery heart lock menu next pinned previous reply search share star