8 Nutty Facts About Squirrels

Learn more about the bushy-tailed critters in your backyard.

John Pizniur (B&B reader)A squirrel steals some seed from a bird feeder.
John Pizniur (B&B reader) A squirrel steals some seed from a bird feeder.

1. Squirrels are known for constantly foraging and hoarding food… and for stealing! They lose 25 percent of their food to theft by birds and other squirrels.

2. Celebrate furry friends on Jan. 21: National Squirrel Appreciation Day.

3. A handful of these mischievous creatures was first released in 1877 in New York’s Central Park, where the population has since flourished.

4. Squirrels are surprisingly fast; at top speed, they can run 20 mph.

5. Their superhero-like talent to reach seemingly inaccessible bird feeders comes from the ability to rotate their hind feet 180 degrees.

6. There are 285 squirrel species around the world and three over-arching kinds: ground, tree and flying.

7. Most gray types can pull off an 8-foot jump from a stationary position.

8. A squirrel’s four front teeth grow about 10 inches a year. (Gnawing keeps them short.)