Winners: WaPo 2017 Squirrel Week photo contest winners

Here are three winners of the 2017 Washington Post Squirrel Week Photo Contest, held annually by reporter John Kelly. First, the winner:


The winner this year is Kristy Casto of Ashburn, Va., twice a runner-up in earlier contests. She titled her photo of a juvenile squirrel looking up at its mother “Just One Bite.”

Kristy is in the Army and works in military medicine. Squirrels visit her deck often, so often that she’s come to know individual animals. “That’s Scrattie Sue and one of her babies,” Kristy said of her winning entry.

Said Kristy: “I have a bazillion squirrel photos. I have kids too, but I don’t have as many pictures of them. My kids will remind me of that.”

Why such affection for an oft-maligned rodent?

“They are super intelligent little creatures,” Kristy said. “Their athleticism and agility is amazing to watch. They have distinct personalities. I’m a student of squirrels now.”

And an award-winning squirrel photographer.  What does Kristy look for when composing a picture?

“It’s easy to get a picture of a squirrel eating or sitting in the tree,” she said. “I try to look for something unusual or different. Any time there’s more than one squirrel, that’s interesting.”

Food of a different sort attracted this squirrel, photographed by Matt Evans of Austin, Texas. “One day while I was on my lunch break, this squirrel came over, climbed up on my table, and stole an entire (large) cookie,” Matt wrote. “He then walked over to a nearby tree, climbed up to a comfortable spot, and ate the cookie while he stared at me.”

Miranda Hovemeyer of Silver Spring, Md., managed to capture just about every version of the Eastern gray squirrel — gray, black (or melanistic) and what looks like an albino. She calls it “A Diverse Squirrel Neighborhood.” [JAC: Where’s the conservative squirrel?]

h/t: Nicole Reggia


  1. Dan McPeek
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Jeff Sessions is a rodent. Squirrels are beautiful animals. 🙂

    • ploubere
      Posted May 17, 2017 at 12:14 am | Permalink


  2. Craw
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Apt: the WaPo has gone squirrelly.

  3. Redlivingblue
    Posted May 16, 2017 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Great distraction from the current dumpster fire burning in DC. Thanks!

  4. mordacious1
    Posted May 17, 2017 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    “Where’s the conservative squirrel?”

    Indeed. The albino can’t be a conservative (even though he’s white). More likely a moderate, as it appears that he’s on the fence.

  5. Posted May 18, 2017 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Great photos! The 2nd one looks like a painting.

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