Grace has always been a big lover of animals. She has expressed to us on a number of occasions that she would like to either be a vet or own a holiday home for pets. She loves the David Attenborough shows and we all sit down and watch ‘Monkey Life’ together (a show about Monkey World in Dorest). So it is no surprise that we were asked to mention Squirrel Appreciation Day here on my blog.
Since she was a toddler, Grace has looked out for squirrels in the garden. When we lived in our flat we were regular curtain twitchers as soon a squirrel appeared in the trees in our communal garden.
Today, the 21st January, is Squirrel Appreciation Day. It was started in 2001 by Christy Hargrove, a wildlife rehabilitator in Asheville, North Carolina. The reason that this day is celebrated in the middle of winter is because this is when a squirrel’s food sources are scarce so you can show your love of squirrels by heading to your local park and giving them a treat of nuts, seeds or fruit.
For all your wildlife lovers out there, here are some squirrel facts:
- There are 278 species of squirrel in the world. They are native to every continent except Australia and Antarctica
- Squirrel species are grouped into three broad categories: ground squirrels (which includes chipmunks, marmots, and groundhogs); tree squirrels; and flying squirrels
- However, only four types of squirrel live in the UK; red, grey, black and the extremely rare ‘black-reds’ or ‘brunettes’ which are dark brown or black in colour but have the body shape of a red squirrel
- The tail of squirrels acts like a parachute and provides balance
- The collective name for a group of squirrels is a ‘scurry’
- When squirrels are frightened they run back and forth and in different directions to confuse their predators
- Flying squirrels can’t fly like birds but they can glide between trees
- Flying squirrels have been known to glide for distances of up to 90 metres (295ft)
- Squirrels like to eat nuts, fruits, seeds, tree bark, roots, insects and caterpillars
- A squirrels eyes are high on their head and placed on each side close to their ears so they can see a large amount of their surroundings without having to turn their head
Many thanks to Alamy who have provided the images for this post.