National Squirrel Appreciation Day

Squirrel Appreciation Day

Squirrels can be rather sneaky, stealing nuts from fellow squirrels. This one spies over a fence in Pennsylvania, taken by Michaela Wolf.

Founded by Christy Hargrove in 2001, Squirrel Appreciation Day is observed annually on January 21. Hargrove is a wildlife rehabilitator in North Carolina and is affiliated with the Western North Carolina Nature Center.  According to Christy, “Celebration of the event itself is up to the individual or group — anything from putting out extra food for the squirrels to learning something new about the species.”

Red, grey or even black, what’s your favourite colour of squirrel? Squirrel Appreciation Day reminds us to enjoy these nut-burying, scampering animals respectfully and with consideration. Why not visit your local park and spot some squirrels?
10 Nutty Facts to Make You Appreciate Squirrels from the National Wildlife Federation

1. SQUIRRELS CAN FIND FOOD BURIED BENEATH A FOOT OF SNOW.

2. A SQUIRREL’S FRONT TEETH NEVER STOP GROWING.

Gray Squirrel

Squirrels must gnaw to keep their teeth at the right length. Photo by National Willdife Photo Contest entrant Christine Haines.

3. SQUIRRELS MAY LOSE 25% OF THEIR BURIED FOOD TO THIEVES.

4. THEY ZIGZAG TO ESCAPE PREDATORS.

5. SQUIRRELS MAY PRETEND TO BURY A NUT TO THROW OFF POTENTIAL THIEVES.

Digging Squirrel

Squirrel digging in the garden by Tom Gill.

6. A NEWBORN SQUIRREL IS ABOUT AN INCH LONG.

Newborn Squirrel

Baby gray squirrel at approximately 4 weeks old in the care of wildlife rehabber. Photo by Audrey.

7. HUMANS INTRODUCED SQUIRRELS TO MOST OF OUR MAJOR CITY PARKS.

8. SQUIRRELS ARE ACROBATIC, INTELLIGENT AND ADAPTABLE.

9. THEY GET BULKY TO STAY WARM DURING THE WINTER.

Bulky Squirrel

Extra bulk in the cold is one way squirrels stay warm. Photo by National Willdife Photo Contest entrant Kelly Lyon.

10. SQUIRRELS DON’T DIG UP ALL OF THEIR BURIED NUTS, WHICH RESULTS IN MORE TREES!

HOW TO OBSERVE

Use #SquirrelAppreciationDay to post on social media.

And…since it’s also National Hugging Day and National Granola Bar Day – give a squirrel a hug…and a granola bar!

 

 

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6 thoughts on “National Squirrel Appreciation Day

  1. Squirrels have been credited for “planting” so many trees due to their forgetfulness. However, I think that the popular belief regarding the level of forgetfulness is exaggerated. This is akin to the misconception that goldfish have a memory span of 3 seconds.

    I remembered my teacher in elementary who compared the memory of squirrels to RAM and elephants to ROM. He said that once the squirrel is asleep, it will forget where it buried its nut. Of course, I didn’t believe that nonsense considering that he was the same teacher who told us to climb to a tree when being chased by a bear.

    There are several studies which claimed that squirrels are smarter than most people assume. Here’s one:

    http://www.ecotheo.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Jacobs_AB91.pdf

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