Feed SquirrelsNational Squirrel Appreciation Day began in 2001 with its founder Christy Hargrove. The Asheville, North Carolina, wildlife rehabilitator wanted a solution to dwindling squirrel food sources in late January. Hence, a holiday to get people to help.
- Place pieces of bread, even stale bread, on your porch. The squirrels that come will entertain your family for a good while.
- Coat a pinecone with peanut butter. Hang the cone on a tree.
- Suspend a corn cob from a tree.
Educate Yourself and the Kids on SquirrelsWatch YouTube videos of squirrels' antics and read squirrel books to the kids. You can actually download the Thornton W. Burgess book, "The Adventures of Chatterer the Red Squirrel," online for free since it's now in the public domain. Grace Marmor Spruch also penned a great book for children called "Squirrels at My Window." Other books, particularly for the preschool set, include "I Want That Nut!" by Madeline Valentine, "Squirrels" by Brian Wildsmith, "Nutley, the Nut-Free Squirrel" by Stephanie Sorkin and "Squirrels on Skis" by J. Hamilton Ray.
Snap Pictures of the AnimalsSquirrels possess incredible leaping abilities, and they're compassionate toward one another. Their tails can serve as parachutes and as signal flags. These moments are precious to capture on camera but first, try these suggestions:
- Spend a few days observing squirrels to better understand their movements and behaviors.
- After a while, try to predict what squirrels will do next, such as where they will move or what action they will take.
- Squirrels are most active during the morning and late afternoon. Try to observe and photograph at those times if you can.
- Use the highest shutter speed possible.
- Lower yourself to the ground or to the squirrels' level.
- For truly great shots, you may need to stay on the ground for a few hours.
- Take lots and lots of photos. Edit them later to see which ones turned out well.
Build an Obstacle CourseRemember the section earlier about feeding squirrels? Time to make them work for food! On National Squirrel Appreciation Day, inject extra spice into their bird feeder break-in adventures. YouTube features hilarious videos of squirrel obstacle courses, and they make good references. Potential obstacles to enhance your course could include:
- Spinning platforms
- Mini bobsled tunnels
- Tightrope walks
- Rope bridges
- Plexiglass runs
- Bell runs