I’m willing to bet 99% of you weren’t clued in on this… January 21st of every year is Squirrel Appreciation Day.
“Squirrel Appreciation Day was created by Wildlife Rehabilitator Christy Hargrove from Asheville, North Carolina on January 21, 2001. 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.”” –nationaldaycalendar.com
I personally wasn’t aware that this National day existed until I saw a Facebook post on Audubon Society of Rhode Island’s Facebook page the other day suggesting people come by the Nature Shop at the Audubon Environmental Education Center to stock up on seed for the big day.
Many friends I know would rather stick a needle in their eye before discussing their love for squirrels in public, particularly after knowing people who have had experiences with them tearing into their property and bank account. Yes, they can be menaces… – like this one. Floss anyone? And by the way did you know that a squirrel’s front teeth never stop growing??I, too, have had a similar level of destruction after they tore into our backdoor screen a few times, but I am able to forgive them for the pure fact that they are creatures of this earth, period. So they eat the food you’ve set out for birds, but on the bright side their efforts to actually get to the food can provide hours of entertainment. They truly are fun, and funny, to watch!
We (or I, as my husband would prefer I say since he’s fighting a mini war with them on one of the new “squirrel proof” bird feeders he just brought home for me) feed them peanuts every day. Our squirrels definitely win top prize for looking healthy, fit and plump. It all started when one would come and stand on our porch railing and just look through the window at me with “that look”.
That winter I started putting peanuts out on a tall candle stick thinking I’d make him work a little, but that only took about 3 seconds of awkwardness. Soon enough he and his buddies became “masters of the stick” and wanted more. There’s that look again…
And the game continued…
The more they tried to figure out ways to obtain their prize of cleverly placed peanuts, the more I began to adore and really take a liking to them. I now consider them to be a part of our backyard family, to my husband’s chagrin.
I photographed this young squirrel in our yard a couple of months ago before it discovered what is now the morning “peanut toss” into the yard. Luckily, there were enough acorns to go around this season so who needed peanuts?
Now I basically have happy squirrels who lie around with full bellies.
Did you know that squirrels can jump 10 times the length of their bodies?
So…our squirrels will get their usual dose of peanuts today, and perhaps some “free” safflower seeds which they won’t have to struggle for. If feeding them isn’t something you’re keen on, then celebrate today by reading these few facts and learning something new about them you may not have known!