Looking for An Excuse to Party? Here is a Squirrely One

National Squirrel Appreciation Day
Photo Credit: Flickr's Californian Em

Winter has definitely taken hold of my yard. It’s pretty bleak looking with the exception of a winterberry holly still showing off some bright red berries.

With the exceptionally cold days we have had many of my wildlife residents are laying low, but I can always count on a few squirrels out and about to keep me entertained. So it seems appropriate that I should celebrate National Squirrel Appreciation Day on January 21 by giving these furry friends something to munch on as they scrounge for winter food sources.

Yes, there really is such a thing as Squirrel Appreciation Day, founded in 2001 by wildlife rehabilitator Christy Hargrove of Asheville, North Carolina. The most common squirrel in the U.S. is the Eastern gray squirrel which averages a little over 16 inches and weighs about a pound.

Here are some tasty snacks to keep those bushy-tailed acrobats fed when the winter pickins are slim:

  • Loop a piece of chain with an eye-screw at its end on a nearby tree branch. Screw on an ear of dried field corn and watch as the squirrels swing and sway while grabbing dinner.
  • Smear peanut butter on a pinecone and hang it on a tree, it will keep squirrels occupied for hours.
  • Put chunks of stale bread or shelled peanuts on your deck or porch railing. Get ready to watch the show.
  • The best way to help out squirrels is to plant native nut and seed producing trees. Oaks, hickories, pecans, walnuts and beeches are just a few of the trees that will not only feed the squirrels naturally but provide shelter and nesting places too.

You can appreciate squirrels and still put them through their paces.  Enroll your local squirrels in the Animal Olympics by creating an obstacle course. Squirrels can actually jump ten times the length of their bodies.

Need some inspiration? See what this guy was willing to do for an afternoon snack. And if adults really want to kick your celebration up a notch, try serving a Flying Squirrel drink.

Get more family-friendly activities to celebrate National Squirrel Appreciation Day from National Wildlife Federation. And share your own squirrel photos, observations, questions, and stories on www.facebook.com/green hour or on Twitter.