Squirrel Appreciation Day:
Celebrated annually on every January 21st, the Squirrel Appreciation Day is observed to appreciate the unsuspecting environmental rehabilitators who are quite infamous when it comes to their wild nature.
|2021||21st January||Saturday||United States|
|2022||21st January||Sunday||United States|
|2023||21st January||Monday||United States|
Why Squirrel Appreciation Day?
For the children who grew up in cities and the urban folks, scurrying squirrels holding on to their nut loot is a sight to behold and perhaps the only constant exposure to a wild animal invading their eco-friendly spaces. Varying from the size of 3.9 inches like the African pygmy squirrel to the 4ft Bhutan giant flying squirrel, there are over 200 species of squirrels discovered in the five continents of the world.
Their large eyes, silky fur, fancy tails, cute glances, and gestures did not help them escape the rodent classification. Squirrels are broadly categorized as ground squirrels, tree squirrels, or flying squirrels. Ground squirrels and tree squirrels can be troublemakers if they enter your yards or homes by their impeccable digging and burrowing skills.
The squirrels can make almost any habitat their home. The species also exhibit a variety of colors from jet black to yellowish-brown and varying shades of red. Squirrels like to update their wardrobe with spring and fall collections by shedding their coats in these seasons. They are great acrobats and it’s just fascinating to observe them! The tree squirrels climb down the trees in a head-on fashion which is not possible for most mammals, thanks to their flexible ankles which rotate at 180 degrees.
On their nut heist, squirrels act as seed dispersers as they have a habit of collecting nuts and burying them known as caching. The Eastern grey squirrels are known for this trait as they selectively bury seeds in good health which have a greater probability of germinating. Their caching habits involve changing the location of the buried nuts by digging them up or pretending to dig it up and by storing it elsewhere especially when they sense that they are being watched by their cunning peers. After all these award-winning performances the squirrels tend to forget the exact location where they buried the nuts and this amnesia helps to regenerate forests or fill the tummies of the spy squirrels.
These captivating creatures live up to a decade in the wild and a maximum of twenty years in captivity. Many young squirrels perish in the first year of their birth. When the nest tips from the trees, young ones are abandoned by the mother if their temperature is not right, resulting in premature death. Few wildlife rehabilitators rescue and foster these baby squirrels, while many are euthanized as the meticulous care and the stable population of the species doesn’t necessitate the rescue. Whether you consider them an invasive species or as cute creatures, they are relevant to the balance of the ecosystem as enthusiastic planters and small prey.
How Can We Observe Squirrel Appreciation Day?
- Throw Them A Party
Celebrate this day by setting up a squirrel feeder in the park near your locality. Due to the weather during this time of the year, it becomes difficult for squirrels to find and retrieve food from frozen grounds.
- Squirrel Watching
You can take your family to the park and relax there, observing the behavior and charm of these fluffy creatures.
- Discover The Squirrel Story
Read up about the different types of squirrels and their habits and try to identify when you spot one.
- Click And Share
Take photos and videos of the squirrels you spot and share on social media using #SquirrelAppreciationDay
Interesting Facts About Squirrel Appreciation Day:
Few Facts On Squirrel Appreciation Day
- Twiggy, popularly known as the water-Skiing squirrel, was rescued and raised by a Florida family. He became a celebrity after they discovered his ability to balance on a remote-controlled boat.
- The flying squirrels give the appearance of flying when they glide by spreading their legs.
- Rocky the plucking flying squirrel, Skippy, and Slappy were few famous squirrel characters in the Bullwinkle Show and Looney Tunes respectively.
- To misguide the predators, squirrels build many nests and shift constantly along with the young ones.
- They have many vocal and tail signals including those that are used as alarm signs.
- Some Arctic squirrels lower their temperature and hibernate for over 8 months for their survival.
History Of Squirrel Appreciation Day:
The Squirrel Appreciation Day was created by Christy Hargrove on January 21, 2001. She is from Asheville and works as a wild rehabilitator in North Carolina Nature Center. According to her, this day is celebrated to appreciate squirrels and foster a kind attitude towards these species.