Squirrel Appreciation Day was first celebrated in 2001 and since then is observed annually on January 21. The creator of this national day is Christy Hargrove, a wildlife rehabilitator in North Carolina. This national day is started as a way to encourage people to see squirrels as cute animals and leave seeds and nuts out there for them.
Why do we appreciate squirrels? Did you know that besides that they are super cute and fluffy, they are totally forgetful and because of that, they are a major part of forestation. They hide their nuts for the winter and forget where they put them! And trees grow. ????
Squirrels live almost everywhere on Earth. Native to Africa, North and South America, Europe and Asia. They also have been introduced to Australia.
In North America, most common are the western and eastern grey squirrels, in Europe the red squirrel.
The numbers of the red squirrel in the UK is decreasing because of the introduction of the grey squirrel there.
Squirrels can differ in sizes, from few inches to few feet long. The tiniest species of squirrels is the African Pygmy Squirrel, that on average is about 3 inches. The largest known squirrel is the Indian Giant Squirrel, that can be 3 feet long.
How to celebrate this day?
Make sure to leave seeds and nuts in your backyard for them to find.
Organize a family movie night and watch a documentary on squirrels.
Visit the local natural history museum and learn more about these cute little rodents.
Don’t forget to be a part of the social media celebration by following #SquirrelAppreciationDay .
Check out these fun facts about squirrels:
* There are more than 200 species of squirrels around the world.
* There diet consists of nuts, fruit, seeds, flowers, buds and tree sap.
* Before burying their nuts, they lick them to live their scent and to be able to find them easily.
* The color of their coat can be brown, red, black, grey and very rare white.
* Flying squirrels can’t fly. The glide.
* Baby squirrels are born blind, toothless and with no fur.
* The brain of a squirrel is about the size of a walnut.
* Average life span of a squirrel is around 12 years, but most of them are killed before that by cars, predators etc.
* Their hind legs are double-jointed, which gives them the unique ability to run up and down trees very quickly.
* Mating season is February to May.
* Gestation period: 44 days.
* Litter size: 2 to 4 young.
* Their eyes are positioned in a way that gives them the ability to see behind them.