On your next outdoor adventure with the kids, be sure to pay special attention to the wonders of nature and wildlife. Being outside is one of the best times to talk to the kids about nature and conservation, so make the most of the opportunity!
In particular, be on the lookout for squirrels, which live in big cities as well as wooded areas and are familiar to people all around the world.
Squirrels are small mammals that come in a variety of colors, including brown, gray, red and black. They are omnivores and have big, bushy tails. Squirrels live in trees or in underground burrows or tunnels.
While many Americans will see squirrels just about every day, certain species of squirrels, like the Mount Graham red squirrels in Arizona, are endangered.
Squirrels can also make a variety of sounds from bird-like chirps, to high pitched barks and more. You can listen to a squirrel make a long chirp in this YouTube clip of a squirrel barking and squeaking below.
- There are hundreds of species of squirrels around the world!
- The name “squirrel” means “shade tail” in Greek.
- Squirrels live on every continent on the planet, except for Australia and Antarctica.
- Squirrels are rodents.
- Squirrels are sometimes kept as pets by villagers in tropical forests.
- The four front teeth of a squirrel never stop growing.
- Squirrels eat nuts, fruits, seeds, fungi, insects, leaves and flowers.
- The biggest species of squirrels can grow to be almost 7 pounds!
- Squirrels communicate through chirps and tail movements.
- Baby squirrels are born blind.
This wildlife exploration can give you the chance to talk with kids about the importance of respecting wildlife and honoring conservation practices that instill a philosophy of care and concern for nature.
Talk with the kids, too, about how squirrels can be hunted for food and what this hunting does for population control.
Enjoy your wildlife exploration!