Nuts, you say?
Seriously, according to the National Wildlife Federation, Squirrel Appreciation Day was founded by Christy Hargrove, a North Carolina wildlife rehabilitator, in 2001. It is observed annually on January, 21st.
Here are some fun facts about these clever creatures:
- More than 200 different species (kinds) of squirrels live around the world.
- From nose to tail, the tiny African pygmy squirrel is 5 inches long – about the size of a post card. The 3-foot long Indian giant squirrel is the size of a 3-year-old child!
- Talk about tiny, a newborn squirrel is about an inch long – the size of a paperclip. It’s also born blind and fur-less.
- Squirrels have 4 front teeth that never stop growing! Constant gnawing on hard-shelled nuts and acorns is tough on teeth.
- Squirrels are omnivores. That’s a fancy word meaning they eat plants and animals, from nuts and seeds to bugs and baby birds.
- Squirrels are tricky! They will dig a hole and pretend to bury food to prevent other squirrels and birds from finding their real stash.
- If a squirrel flicks its tail at you, it means “go away!” A squirrel uses its tail to communicate. Its tail also helps a squirrel balance on trees and telephone poles and makes a furry blanket in winter.
- In addition to being “tail talkers,” squirrels also chatter to each other with clicks and clucks and warn each other of danger with a whistling call.
- A better name for flying squirrels would be gliding Flaps of skin connecting their arms and legs to their bodies make a wing-like surface that helps them to coast through the air from tree to tree.
- Ground squirrels “kiss” when they see each other. Touching their noses together in greeting.
As charming as they may seem, squirrels do not make good pets, and it’s never a good idea to get too close to a wild animal.
Preschoolers can get an up-close and SAFE look at squirrels with our GeoSafari® Jr. Kidnoculars.
Older kiddos will love viewing squirrel antics through our GeoSafari® Compass Binoculars or Nancy B’s Science Club® Binoculars and Wildlife Activity Journal.