It’s Squirrel Appreciation Day so we have put together some facts and tips all about squirrels to help you appreciate them in your garden and local parks. This time of year can be tough for squirrels, just like other garden wildlife as food can be very scarce and the frozen ground means they may not be able to reach their previously buried food. Have a read of these facts and tips to help your local squirrels and enjoy going outside to feed them.
Did you know that squirrels contribute to new tree growth? There are oak trees all over the country that have grown from buried acorns which have been forgotten by squirrels. So if you find a small Oak tree sprouting, that could just be thanks to a squirrel.
You may only notice your more common grey squirrel usually and get excited at spotting a rarer red one sometimes but around the whole world, there are actually 265 species of squirrels!
If you are patient, some squirrels will actually eat directly from your hand. It may be easier to do this with a friendly garden squirrel that sees you often but even wild squirrels will take food from you. Just stay still and patient with your hand out holding some nuts or seeds. In time, one may just come over to feed.
Tips for feeding on Squirrel Appreciation Day
Just like our garden birds, squirrels need fresh water, both to drink and wash in. A large birdbath will do just the trick and keep it topped up with fresh water, especially when it freezes over. They, of course, enjoy many different nuts and are especially keen on acorns, so if you have an oak tree, let those acorns fall and the squirrels will scurry along collecting them. They are also partial to hazelnuts and pine trees. You may even find a squirrel trying to get the nuts in bird feeders but if you don't want them to pinch the bird food, use a feeder to keep squirrels off and then one that can be accessed easily so all of your garden wildlife can enjoy your offering.
What can you do on Squirrel Appreciation Day
The best way to enjoy Squirrel Appreciation Day is to go outside and watch the squirrels in your garden or park. If you take some seeds or nuts, you may even manage to find one taking them from your hands, especially if they are hungry. Don’t forget to take some photographs of the squirrels you see and post them to social media on twitter, facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #squirrelappreciationday to share the celebration of squirrels.