IT’S NATIONAL SQUIRREL DAY! – Marilyn Armstrong

That’s right. It’s National Squirrel Day, a special day designed to honor the furry and honorable squirrels of our world.

And here are some pictures to prove it!

SQUIRREL APPRECIATION DAY

On January 21st, Squirrel Appreciation Day recognizes a critter some consider a pest and others see as just fascinating. The creator, Christy 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.”

According to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System of North America (ITIS), there are over 200 species of squirrels.  Some of the oldest squirrels categorized on the list are the nocturnal arrow flying squirrel (validated in 1766) and the Black Giant (validated in 1778).  Of all these species, they fall into three types.

Three Types of Squirrels

Ground squirrels, such as the thirteen-lined ground squirrel, the rock squirrel, California ground squirrel, and many others blanket the prairies and deserts of North America. Often causing damage, they often earn the name of pest, and they are labeled rodents. Predators enjoy them as a tasty morsel, too. As a result, they work together to protect themselves. Their only protection is to flee!

Tree squirrels make their homes in the trees. However, they also find their nesting materials and food on the ground and above. Making their homes in cities and the countryside in nations all around the globe, these familiar backyard and park residents help themselves to your birdfeeders or snag your snack right from your hands if they have become practiced enough!

The third type of squirrel leaps farther than the others with flaps of skin between the legs. Flying squirrels glide greater distances giving the impression they can fly. When they jump from tree to tree or building to building, they spread their legs wide and float on the breeze escaping predators or perhaps other snarky tree squirrels with a nut to pick with them.

OBSERVING #SquirrelAppreciationDay

Learn more about these fascinating creatures. Tell us your favorite squirrel story or share a picture of your squirrel visitors.

  • Set up a squirrel feeder and watch them as they feed. Can you identify what kind they are?
  • Go to a park and watch the squirrels as they travel from tree to tree. How many are there?
  • Squirrel watching is similar to bird watching and nearly as fascinating. Study their behavior and note their differences.
  • Watch a squirrel documentary to learn more.

Use #SquirrelAppreciationDay to post on social media.

18 thoughts on “IT’S NATIONAL SQUIRREL DAY! – Marilyn Armstrong

  1. A beautiful collection of photos of squirrels. I read a mans blog recently he had hand raised a squirrel baby that he had found on the ground. It was delightful read. I wish I could recall its name. We don’t have squirrels in Australia. I can appreciate them here though.

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  2. what a fascinating tale and some really gorgeous photos. They look so cute – you want to like them really…. but they tend to be rather a pest in many regions. You probably could feed a double army twice with what you spend on feeding the squirrels. And they are the grey ones, and not the very rare brown ones. But it is difficult NOT to love them! Cuteness overload….

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    • The squirrels seem to have deserted us this year. They were busy in the fall, but I rarely see them these days. Mostly, until the last couple of days, it has been quite warm, so I suspect there is a lot to eat in the woods. Or they don’t like my food, though that never stopped them before.

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  3. Marilyn, I swear those squirrels have grown bigger. If they keep on eating like that they’ll bring down the feeder by their shear weight.
    Leslie

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    • We lost one feeder. I didn’t replace it with the same feeder because I think the feeder, which was the newer one, was defective. The more recent one is less squirrel- friendly, but the oldest one which has been up for two years is the same as ever. Owen says squirrels like to eat from the ground. We always pour a pound or two of seeds on the ground behind the deck for the ground feeders since we don’t have a working flat feeder anymore (that one also self-destructed). I can’t see that piece of ground without hanging off the edge of the deck, but there are a LOT of birds and probably squirrels down there. I know there are birds there because when i go out on the deck to fill the feeder, a flurry of birds takes to the air when they hear my footsteps.

      Owen wants to build a squirrel feeder so we can give them food better suited to them. He has plans 🙂

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  4. National Squirrel Appreciation Day has been around for almost 2 decades now, preceding the social media engine that has created all kinds of stupid holidays. It makes me a bit sad to see it has a hashtag now… but I guess if it means more exposure for squirrel photos, what the heck.

    And I do appreciate your gallery as well!

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    • I figured you knew about it, but since I get the calendar, just in case you’d forgotten in the midst of plumbing issues, I’d remind you.

      We’ve been pouring food on the ground this year, so we haven’t seen many squirrels on the feeders. One or two now and then, but they like eating from a flat surface. We pour quite a lot of the bulkier seeds on the lawn for the ground birds and squirrels, but then, of course, they don’t come up on the deck. I see the doves in the trees — sometimes a lot of them, but the squirrels just go where the food it. They are being very cautious this year. I think there are a few hawks in the woods and they are being more careful.

      Meanwhile, they are two stories below the deck, rooting through the weeds and vines. It’s also a hard place for the hawks to land. Lots of vines and branches blocking their path … which is a good thing. Owen’s got serious plans to build a feeder, but we do have to wait until we can afford to buy some cedar — a very expensive wood, but it doesn’t rot. Our flat feeder was cheap and it died pretty quickly too. He wants to make something sturdier, bigger, and with a roof to protect them from flying predators. He thing feeding them whole peanuts should be hilarious. I think it would be funny, but omg so MESSY.

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  5. Pingback: IT’S NATIONAL SQUIRREL DAY! – Marilyn Armstrong — Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth.. re blog – paddy's farm

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