Squirrel Appreciation Day

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.

4 Comments

  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Oh Mary Ann Little red and Dyson are so beautiful! They are just so photogenic too!
    Thanks so much for this newsletter and their photos. I hope all the trees will not be cut down in your area. It’s so sad for the wildlife. 🙏❤️🐿🐿❤️🙏
    Take care!
    Linda

    1. I will tell them when I fill those feeders tomorrow! Little Red has had the run of the ‘shed’ so we are trying to figure out how to build him a super nice penthouse all his own when we have to tear it down this spring. Sadly, our City has gone on this rampage cutting down the female Maple trees. They are not rotten. They cut down 2 in front of our house, planted in 1902. The squirrels ate the helicopter seeds. So we feed them more!

  2. So sad to hear they’re cutting down old maple trees in your city, Mary Ann. Maple trees are my favorite – from the tall big-leaf varieties to the feathery ornamental ones. What a shame – and such a huge loss to birds, squirrels and other critters.
    I did enjoy the sweet photos and am happy your squirrels are being watched over by you. Interesting to think of them as gardeners. (I always thought they buried seeds any old where for future foraging. But you’re right — my favorite dogwood tree in our previous house popped up in the front garden one summer. What a gift! From a squirrel, no doubt. That was 25 years ago and the tree is huge now.)

    Thanks again for all wonderful posts!

    1. It is sad, Betty. They had put a red dot on them but, honestly, no one on the street could see any disease. And when they cut them down you could see that they weren’t even hollow! One of them was a female Maple and Little Red lived mostly on those helicopter looking seeds. It is a shame. Yes, nature’s planters. How wonderful. I love Dogwood! How nice of that squirrel.

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