Wednesday, January 21, 2015

It's S.A.D.!

Yes, it is S.A.D., but that doesn't mean what you think it means. 

No, what it is is Squirrel Appreciation Day!  That's right - the bushy-tailed ones now have a day all of their own on which we can pay tribute and give them all the glory that is due them.

Now, how did I ever fail to notice such an important event?

Lucky me, I have two species of squirrels in my yard to appreciate.


There's the fox squirrel with its reddish brown fur. It is the largest of the native tree squirrels in North America and is resident throughout most of the eastern United States and ranges as far west as Colorado.


Then there is the smaller and somewhat cuter gray squirrel. with its eponymous gray fur and a white or very light gray belly. Both types are squirrels are very agile, but the gray squirrel is almost unbelievably so. I have seen them perform leaps and contortions that I would scarcely have thought possible. They are the ones that give fits to people who feed birds in their yards because of their ability to defeat "squirrel-proof" feeders. It is possible to exclude them with baffles though. I've done so with my feeders and the squirrels content themselves with feeding on the ground or visiting their own designated feeder.

Yes, I know some people consider them pests and when introduced into areas of the world where they are not native, they can become invasive species and create difficulties for native wildlife. But in my yard, they are in their native element and they fit in with the other wildlife residing here. Moreover, they provide endless entertainment for wildlife watchers like myself. I do appreciate squirrels - today and every day. 

6 comments:

  1. Lucky you Dorothy. We used to get grey squirrels and fox squirrels when we had trees either side. But I don't remember now, when was the last time I saw a squirrel in the back yard. And that's sad. And I don't mean Squirrel Appreciation Day :-(

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    1. It is indeed sad, Jayne. I would definitely miss the little buggers if they weren't around.

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  2. Sorry, but I can’t really join in on a squirrel appreciation day, over here the American Grey Squirrel is a pest. Sure they are cute at times when they jump around the garden, but they do so much damage and they have completely eradicated the native red squirrel which we hardly see anymore. I would not miss them if they were not around.

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    1. I actually had the U.K. in mind when I wrote that "when introduced into areas of the world where they are not native, they can become invasive species and create difficulties for native wildlife." I am too well aware that species introduced to areas where they are not native can be pests to the point of eradicating native wildlife. Believe me, we do not thank you for your House Sparrow and European Starling!

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  3. Squirrels are so destructive, but I love to watch them in the trees bordering my backyard (which borders a creek). I especially enjoy them in spring when it is warm enough to sit outside but the leaves haven't sprouted yet. Alana

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    1. Like most rodents, they do have the capacity to be "destructive" as we humans define it, although within my habitat garden, I don't really find them to be so. They are simply an integral part of the ecosystem.

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