On January 21st, Squirrel Appreciation Day recognizes a critter some consider a pest and others see as just fascinating. The creator, Christy Hargrove, is a wildlife rehabilitator in North Carolina and is affiliated with the Western North Carolina Nature Center.  According to Christy, “Celebration of the event itself is up to the individual or group — anything from putting out extra food for the squirrels to learning something new about the species.”

According to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System of North America (ITIS), over 200 species exist in the world. Some of the oldest squirrels categorized on the list include the nocturnal arrow flying squirrel (validated in 1766) and the Black Giant (validated in 1778). Of all these species, they fall into three types.  

Three Types of Squirrels

Ground squirrels, such as the thirteen-lined ground squirrel, the rock squirrel, California ground squirrel, and many others blanket the prairies and deserts of North America. Often causing damage, they often earn the name of pest, and they are labeled rodents. Predators enjoy them as a tasty morsel, too. As a result, they work together to protect themselves. Their only protection is to flee!

Tree squirrels make their homes in the trees. However, they also find their nesting materials and food on the ground and above. Making their homes in cities and the countryside in nations all around the globe, these familiar backyard and park residents help themselves to your birdfeeders or snag your snack right from your hands if they have become practiced enough!

The third type of squirrel leaps farther than the others with flaps of skin between the legs. Flying squirrels glide greater distances giving the impression they can fly. When they jump from tree to tree or building to building, they spread their legs wide and float on the breeze escaping predators or perhaps other snarky tree squirrels with a nut to pick with them.

HOW TO OBSERVE #SquirrelAppreciationDay

Learn more about these fascinating creatures. Tell us your favorite squirrel story or share a picture of your squirrel visitors.

  • Set up a squirrel feeder and watch them as they feed. Can you identify what kind they are?
  • Go to a park and watch the squirrels as they travel from tree to tree. How many are there?
  • Squirrel watching is similar to bird watching and nearly as fascinating. Study their behavior and note their differences.
  • Watch a squirrel documentary to learn more.

Use #SquirrelAppreciationDay to post on social media.


Christy Hargrove from Asheville, North Carolina, created Squirrel Appreciation Day on January 21, 2001.

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January 21st Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History


Long before the suffrage movement, Margaret Brent asked the Maryland General Assembly to grant her voting privileges. While the assembly of men denied Brent her request for not one, but two votes, she proved to be a savvy attorney and landowner in her own right.


James Edward Sullivan and William Buckingham Curtis established the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). The nationwide organization promotes multiple sports and fitness programs for all ages.


Publishing house The Bodley Head published British author Agatha Christie’s debut novel in the United Kingdom, The Mysterious Affair at Styles. The novel was released in the United States a few months earlier.


The Concorde makes its first supersonic commercial flights. British Airways and Air France operated the twenty Concordes built. The first flights departed from London to Bahrain aboard British Airways and from Paris to Rio de Janeiro aboard Air France Concordes.

January 21st Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays

Sophia Jex-Blake – 1840

In the latter third of the 19th century, Jex-Blake led a small movement to allow women to into medical school in Great Britain. Her efforts proved successful, and in 1877, Jex-Blake and four other women who joined her on the journey passed their medical exams.

Roger Nash Baldwin – 1884

As one of the co-founders of the American Civil Liberties Union, Nash served as its executive director for 30 years.

Wolfman Jack – 1938

Born Robert Weston Smith, the American disc jockey is best known for his raspy voice heard over the radio airwaves. He’s also heard (and possibly seen) in films such as American Graffiti, The Midnight Special, and The Wolfman Jack Show.

Richard Scarry – 1953

The children’s author created a world of anthropomorphic characters who live in Busytown. From Lowly Worm to Miss Honey and Doctor Lion, Scarry’s stories took children on adventures and taught reading, colors, and manners along with many other things.

Paul Allen – 1953

In 1975, Allen and Bill Gates founded Microsoft out of a garage in Albuquerque, New Mexico.