National Squirrel Appreciation Day

National Squirrel Appreciation Day
Celebrate National Squirrel Appreciation Day with a special treat for your backyard friends - show them some love and appreciation!
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When it is?
January 21
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United States

January 21 is National Squirrel Appreciation Day, a day to show love and appreciation for the furry critters that inhabit our parks and backyards! This holiday was created in 2001 by Christy Hargrove, who wanted to raise awareness of the importance of squirrels in our environment. From collecting nuts for food during winter months to providing entertainment with their acrobatic antics, there's no denying these little creatures are an integral part of nature.

History of National Squirrel Appreciation Day

In 2001, wildlife rehabilitation specialist, Christy Hargrove, founded National Squirrel Appreciation Day in Asheville, North Carolina. Christy created this day to encourage kind attitudes towards our bushy-tailed neighbors by setting out food and water for squirrels, and even allowing them to play with that bird-feeder you normally don’t want them touching. We might generally look at squirrels as being an unnecessary nuisance, but their existence is actually beneficial to the environment, and in urban areas, assists in park beautification. Albeit by accident, squirrels plant seeds (initially meaning to store away nuts to come back to when they’re hungry) which eventually grow into trees, thus assisting with forest renewal. They’re natures gardeners!

Up until the mid-19th century, squirrels weren’t present in American cities. In order to have squirrels in the middle of urban areas, you’d need to transform the landscape by planting trees and building parks. You also needed to change the way people behaved by discouraging them from shooting squirrels and encouraging them to start feeding the animals instead. 

The first documented introduction occurred in Philadelphia’s Franklin Square in 1847. Boston and New Haven followed suit and brought in squirrels a few years later in 1850. The squirrel experiment had ended by the 1860s, when many squirrels had either passed or were killed amid concerns that they would disturb birds and lead to insect problems. But releases began again in the 1870s, this time on a larger scale as expansive parks were built in New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Chicago, and other major cities, providing a welcomed habitat for squirrels to live and thrive. 

National Squirrel Appreciation Day Timeline

January 2012
Co-founder Dan finishes the economics degree he promised his mum he’d complete, only to never use it and start his own clothing business (love you mum).
Co-founder Dan finishes the economics degree he promised his mum he’d complete, only to never use it and start his own clothing business (love you mum).

How to Celebrate National Squirrel Appreciation Day

<div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Feed the squirrels</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Take some nuts and seeds to your local park and let the squirrels have a feast. Make sure to keep a safe distance so they don't feel threatened.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Make a squirrel craft</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Get creative and make your own squirrel out of paper, clay, or fabric. You can even use other materials like twigs, leaves, feathers, and even natural objects like stones and shells.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Put up a bird feeder</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Put up a bird feeder in an area with lots of trees to attract squirrels from miles around. Not only will it bring in beautiful birds but also the ever curious squirrels!</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Watch a movie about squirrels</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Rent or stream a movie that features our furry friends. "Over the Hedge" is a great option for kids and adults alike.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Take pictures of squirrels</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Head outside and take pictures of squirrels doing their thing. They're always full of energy so you'll be sure to get some great shots!</p></div></div>

Why We Love National Squirrel Appreciation Day

A. It got bigger than anyone ever thought

When Christy Hargrove started National Squirrel Appreciation Day back in 2001, she didn’t really think it would be a big deal. Christy Hargrove just said people should do whatever they think is right to celebrate National Squirrel Appreciation Day. Maybe put something on Twitter with a hashtag, wrote Christy Hargrove, on the Internet, about National Squirrel Appreciation Day. Little did she know what a success this day would become in just a few short years. A little bit like the humans who introduced small numbers of squirrels to America’s parks in the 1850s, just to make them look a little more interesting.

B. It celebrates the squirrel’s cunning and duplicity

As you know, squirrels bury nuts. But did you know that they often will only pretend to bury those nuts, in a sort of fake move, because they know that they’re being watched? Sometimes, squirrels will pretend to bury a nut, walk away, then come back to it as many as five times, removing it and putting it somewhere else until they’re certain that they weren’t being watched.

C. Three words: Squirrel obstacle courses

If ever there was an animal with more tenacity in its pursuit of food, we do not know of it. A quick Internet search for “squirrel obstacle courses” will yield some remarkable videos, and there’s something really delightful and deeply inspiring about watching these beautiful creatures use their tails for balance in the searching-out and devouring, or storing, of nuts.

3 Surprising Squirrel Facts

National Squirrel Appreciation Day FAQs

When is National Squirrel Appreciation Day?

National Squirrel Appreciation Day is celebrated on January 21st every year. In 2023 National Squirrel Appreciation Day will occur on a Saturday.

National Squirrel Appreciation Day Dates



Jan 21



Jan 21



Jan 21



Jan 21



Jan 21


Animal Holidays