Squirrel Appreciation Day


Gray Squirrel FLICKR Today is Squirrel Appreciation Day.  Yes, even squirrels have a special day dedicated to them.  In celebration, here are my top ten reasons why we should appreciate all of the many species of tree, flying and ground squirrels.

Only a few of these are odd, but then again you could say that the fact that it was pretty easy for me to come up with such a list is odd.  Or that I'm odd.  Nevermind....

  1. Squirrels aren't winning any awards for their mental capacity, but they have an impressive determination when they set their minds on something.  Squirrels are just flat out fun to watch!
  2. Eastern gray squirrels are one of the most successful species. Unlike most other wildlife, they have learned not only how to survive the destruction of their natural habitat, but to thrive in human dominated landscape.
  3. Groundhogs (also known as woodchucks) get to sleep the winter away in a warm, snug burrow. On a freezing winter day, that's something we can all appreciate.
  4. Prairie dogs build underground colonies (called "towns") that support dozens of other wildlife species, from frogs to ferrets and even owls!  Plus, they are a YouTube sensation (if you haven't seen this video you've been living under a rock!).
  5. Chipmunks don't have hands, but they scan stuff their cheek pouches full of food to move it from one place to the next.
  6. Japanese dwarf flying squirrels are CUTE!!!!
  7. They have inspired some of our most beloved cartoon characters (Alvin, Rocky, and Chip and Dale to name a few).
  8. Some California ground squirrels are immune to snake venom and will mob and harass any snakes they encounter.
  9. Like all rodents, squirrels are prolific breeders and can exponentially expand their population in a short period of time.
  10. They are an important part of the diet of lots of other animals (see #9).

Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day!


David Mizejewski is a naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation. His goal is to inspire others to appreciate the wonders of nature. Meet David >







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