Indeed, today is Squirrel Appreciation Day and who appreciates squirrels more than… dogs!
Those fluffy tailed birdseed bandits provide for hours of watching as well as exciting things to chase as they scurry about the yard. And like you, Blue and I both didn’t know there was a Squirrel Appreciation Day! This day of appreciation began in 2001 by a wildlife rehabiltator in Asheville, North Carolina named Christy Hargrove. She wanted to to encourage people to enjoy the company of squirrels and understand how they fit within our ecosystems. 23 years later and its the first time I’ve heard about it!
Let’s do some squirrel appreciation!
- There are more than 200 species across the world! (Though Australia seems to be the exception!)
- Sizes range from 5 inches from nose to tail (African pygmy squirrel) to squirrels that are 3 FEET LONG (Indian giant squirrels)
- Squirrels, like their rodent cousins, have front teeth that never stop growing – which means they never wear down from constant gnawing!
- Two main species are tree squirrels and ground squirrel with the third being flying squirrels
- In Minnesota you can find:
- Flying squirrels
- Fox squirrels – the biggest squirrel in Minnesota!
- Grey squirrels
- Red squirrels
- Thirteen lined ground squirrel (aka Minnesota gopher)
- Groups of squirrels are called a “scurry” or a “dray” (groups only happen when they snuggle together in the winter, otherwise squirrels are solitary!)
- Tree squirrels belong to the genus Sciurus, which comes from the Greek words “skia” (shadow” and “oura” (tail).
- Squirrels belong to the Sciuridae family which also includes chipmunks, prairie dogs, marmots and woodchucks!
- No vomiting, burping or experience heartburn because squirrels can’t!
- Black squirrels are not their own species but… grey squirrels or fox squirrels! The black coloration comes from melanism – the development of dark pigment.
- White squirrels can be albino, though they frequently don’t have pink or red eyes owes their coloration to leucism.
- Squirrels lose approx 25% of their buried food which frequently results in assorted planted plants & trees in assorted locations!
Wow! Loads of cool facts to help us appreciate those birdseed scavenging fluffy tailed squirrels on this day of appreciation!
Blue is posing with this month’s BarkBox toys: blue squirrel “Scamper” and yellow squirrel “Nutso” (it seems BarkBox was on top of Squirrel Appreciation Day!). He thanks his grandma for these nifty boxes that come every month full of new toys (because he needs more…) and tasty treats.
Also… Blue isn’t the greatest catcher… he closes his eyes and treats or toys hit him right in the face! This happens rather frequently haha!