January 21 is Squirrel Appreciation Day!

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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:

  1. More than 200 different species (kinds) of squirrels live around the world.
  2. 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!
  3. Talk about tiny, a newborn squirrel is about an inch long – the size of a paperclip. It’s also born blind and fur-less.
  4. Squirrels have 4 front teeth that never stop growing! Constant gnawing on hard-shelled nuts and acorns is tough on teeth.
  5. Squirrels are omnivores. That’s a fancy word meaning they eat plants and animals, from nuts and seeds to bugs and baby birds.
  6. Squirrels are tricky! They will dig a hole and pretend to bury food to prevent other squirrels and birds from finding their real stash.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day!

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