In 2001, wildlife rehabilitation specialist, Christy Hargrove, founded National Squirrel Appreciation Day in Asheville, North Carolina. It was to be a day for creating a loving environment for our furry tailed friends by setting out food and water for them. Hargrove encouraged people to allow the squirrels to eat at the bird feeders without chasing them away. This wildlife specialist knew that the existence of squirrels both in urban and urban areas is beneficial to everyone and they should not be seen as rodents that cause disease. Not only do they bring us joy as we watch them but they are busy planting seeds which eventually will grow into trees. Hargrove said that squirrels are “natures gardeners”! They actually know to plant the seeds in the brambles where the young trees can grow undisturbed until they are strong – a fact known in the rewilding communities of the UK.
There are huge challenges for squirrels in an urban setting. At present, our City is removing old trees – trees planted more than 125 years ago that are not only home to many birds but also provide nuts and seeds for the squirrels. This is especially true of the Maple trees in my neighbourhood planted in 1902.
Dyson, Little Red and all the gang hope that everyone will be kind to all the squirrels especially as people continue to take over their habitat removing their food sources. Every Day, according to Dyson, is a day to celebrate how much joy (and bother) he brings to me.
Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day from Little Red and Dyson!
Dyson has his full winter coat and he is happy that the cage holding the suet has been removed so he can ‘sleep and eat’ on his favourite seed cylinder!
In this photo, Dyson’s fur is starting to get thick.
Dyson was slim and trim in the summer. Notice how his fur gets thicker as winter cold creeps in.