Reasons to Appreciate Squirrels

Jul 14, 2017 | General

Whether they are eating all of your birdseed or driving your dog crazy, squirrels are often little more than a nuisance, but even if you keep a BB gun within easy range of your birdfeeder, you’ve got to admit that sometimes squirrels can be a lot of fun to watch as they frolic about in the trees.

But squirrels aren’t just good for funny videos on social media, and before you load up your pellet gun in defense of your birdfeeder, you should learn a little about these furry rodents.

Squirrels Need To Gnaw

For instance, did you realize that a squirrel’s front teeth never stop growing? This is true for all rodents, and it is the reason that squirrels and other rodents gnaw on things. Gnawing allows squirrels to keep their teeth at the right length.

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Masters of Deception

Squirrels can be pretty wily. While they may steal seed from birds, squirrels also have to deal with other thieving animals. That’s why sometimes squirrels will act like they are burying nuts even when they are not. They are intentionally trying to throw off thieves in a practice known as “deceptive caching.” They vigorously dig a hole and then cover it back up to confuse potential thieves.

Interestingly, birds are among the thieves squirrels have to contend with, so it’s a natural case of what comes around goes around.

At least among rodents, squirrels are kind of cute with their fluffy tails and beady eyes. Newborn squirrels are only an inch long. There’s a reason there are so many squirrel videos on social media and not so many rat videos.

Squirrels bury far more food than they will ever eat, which brings us to one of the most fascinating aspects of squirrels.

Replenishing Our Forests

Even though they are often accused of being bad for trees because they eat seeds, by burying nuts and some seeds, squirrels actually help to replenish oak trees in forests from one end of the nation to the other.