If you've been feeling a little nutty lately, there may be a reason! January 21 is Squirrel Appreciation Day! This annual holiday, created by wildlife rehabilitator Christy Hargrove in 2001, celebrates squirrels of all shapes, sizes and hues.
Fun Squirrel Facts
- According to National Geographic, there are over 200 species of squirrels around the world.
- Considered rodents, squirrels mostly munch on nuts, fruit, seeds, flowers, buds and tree sap.
- If you ever wondered how a squirrel can find his buried nuts, they lick it or rub it before they bury it, which leaves their scent on the nut.
- Squirrels come in all sorts of colors including brown, red, black and gray. White squirrels are rare.
- Measuring just five inches long from nose to tail, the African pygmy is the smallest.
- The Indian giant squirrel measures nearly three feet in length!
- Flying squirrels don't fly. They glide from tree-to-tree and can leap more than 150 feet!
- Baby squirrels are born nearly blind and have no teeth or fur.
- The lifespan of a squirrel can be up to 12 years but many are killed by cars, natural predators and man.
- A squirrels brain is about the size of a....walnut!
How to Celebrate Squirrel Appreciation Day
- While some may not fully appreciate our bushy-tailed friends, this is the time of the year when many creatures, including squirrels, are scrounging for food. Make a homemade nut house or squirrel feeder.
- Whip up a batch of nutty cookies like these Walnut Shaped Cookies from About.com and/or this adorable cookie recipe from Martha Stewart.
- Watch an episode or two of Rocky and Bullwinkle.
- Learn how to Keep Squirrels Out of Your Bird Feeders.
If you ever find an orphaned squirrel, please check out these Emergency Care Tips for Orphaned Squirrels. January 21 is also National Hugging Day.