Squirrel Appreciation Day
Squirrel Appreciation Day is a holiday celebrated on January 21st every year to honor squirrels and their contributions to the environment. On this day, people are encouraged to venture into the woods or, at the very least, to their local park to search for their favorite types of squirrels and to leave seeds and nuts out for these tree-dwelling rodents.
History of Squirrel Appreciation Day
Squirrel Appreciation Day was created by a North Carolina wildlife rehabilitator in 2001 to acknowledge the role that squirrels play in nature. It is estimated that squirrels plant over a billion oak trees worldwide when they bury acorns to eat later and then forget where they buried them, allowing the acorns to sprout.
Facts About Squirrels
- The front four teeth of squirrels grow about 6 inches a year. It is only the squirrel’s constant gnawing that keeps them under control.
- A group of squirrels is called a scurry.
- There are 265 species of squirrels worldwide.
- There are 44 species of flying squirrels.
- Wild squirrels will eat out of a human’s hand.
- Grey squirrels build nests called dreys high up in trees.
Backyard Squirrel Feeding Tips
Below are a few tips for those looking to make their backyard more squirrel-friendly:
Many people leave out a birdbath filled with water for squirrels in the backyard because squirrels are always in need of a clean water source. Many people also leave out a variety of nuts for the squirrels in their backyard. These nuts include acorns and hazelnuts. Some people also plant a variety of trees and shrubs to provide squirrels in their backyard with the cover and food sources they need. Some of these trees and shrubs include oaks, pines, hazelnut bushes, and smooth sumac trees.
Squirrel Appreciation Day Customs & Celebrations
One of the primary ways to celebrate Squirrel Appreciation Day is to venture into the wilderness and engage in a bit of squirrel watching. In North America, there are various squirrel species, including the Eastern Grey and the American Red Squirrels.
In Europe, there is the Red Squirrel. Going out and watching these squirrels or even bringing them some seeds or nuts is a perfect way to spend this holiday.
Another way to celebrate this holiday is to take photos of your favorite squirrels and post them on Twitter and Facebook. If you do that, make sure to use the hashtag #squirrelappreciationday so people around the world can check out your pictures.