January 21 is Squirrel Appreciation Day, a day to acknowledge the role that squirrels play in nature and the environment.
It is an unofficial holiday started by North Carolina wildlife rehabilitator Christy McKeown in 2001, as a way to encourage people to put out seeds and nuts for these cute rodents.
Squirrels are found almost everywhere on Earth. They are native to Africa, the Americas, Europe, and Asia, and have been introduced to Australia.
In North America, the western and eastern grey squirrels are very common. In Europe, the red squirrel is more common, but its numbers in Great Britain and Ireland are decreasing. The decrease in the red squirrel population is linked to the introduction of the eastern grey squirrel from North America.
Found in Different Sizes
Squirrels can range anywhere from a few inches to a few feet long. The smallest known squirrel species, the African pygmy squirrel, are on average only about 3 inches (7.62 centimeters) long. The largest squirrels, the Indian giant squirrel, can be as long as is 3 feet (1 meter).
A Scurry of Squirrels
A group of squirrels is called a dray or a scurry, though the term dray or drey usually refers to a squirrel nest.
How to Celebrate?
Leave out food in your yard for squirrels, but make sure you research what is considered nutritious food for squirrels.
Learn more about squirrels by watching documentaries on the rodents, visiting your local natural history museum or by just observing the squirrels in your yard.
Change your desktop and social media profile pictures to an image of a squirrel.
Did You Know…
…that their front teeth grow at the rate of six inches per year?
Squirrel Appreciation Day Observances
Fun Holiday: Squirrel Appreciation Day Observances