Friday, January 21, 2011

National Squirrel Appreciation Day

In honor of the day, I am using my squirrel mug for my morning tea.

When I wrote my I Love Squirrels some time back, I didn't realize there is a National Squirrel Appreciation Day. January 21 is the day. The National Wildlife Federation has some hints for celebrating the day and helping children appreciate them.

Many animals eat squirrels (where I grew up, that included a lot of people, although I haven't ever tried squirrel myself.) That's part of the reason that although fox squirrels (the species common in our area) can live 18 years, their average life span is much shorter. Most squirrels do not live to reach their first birthday. If they survive that long, then they can expect to reach 4 - 5 years of age in the wild.

Squirrels in our area have two breeding seasons and baby squirrels are being born now. Why any animal outdoors at this time of year would have babies to support is beyond me--this is also the time of year that in some parts of the country food is pretty scarce. Of course, looking at the squirrels who visit my feeders every day, you wouldn't suspect that--they are chubby.

Birders have mixed opinions on squirrels. Obviously, I enjoy their antics. Although we have lots of squirrels in our area, Texas Parks and Wildlife sees some problems for the little guys, especially in east Texas. For those who like squirrels, the paper has plans for squirrel dens.
For today at least, why not put out some food and enjoy the antics of the squirrels in your yard?
Good birding!


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