It’s Squirrel Appreciation Day! (with a surprise appearance by the snowy owl)

Today is National Squirrel Appreciation Day, and we’ve always enjoyed watching how these clever creatures adapt to life in the city. We’d been planning to focus only on celebrating all the wonderfulness of squirrels – but then a snowy owl made a surprise appearance around Union Station – and while owls are enemies of squirrels, we are nonetheless forcing the squirrels to share this post with the snowy owl.

So read on for the squirrel goodness, with some snowy owl magic at the end.

Everything squirrel

Squirrels in the city

Squirrels manage to walk across and sit on all sorts of things.

©Angela N.
©Rob Klug
©Rob Klug

Squirrels eating

With four digits on their fore limbs, the squirrels are adept at holding their food to eat.

Of course they usually eat nuts, but sometimes they find other things to eat.

©Angela N.
©Rob Klug
©Miki Jourdan
©Rob Klug
©Miki Jourdan
©Angela N.

Squirrels in the snow

©Angela N.
©Miki Jourdan
©Rob Klug

Baby squirrels!

Squirrels are typically born in litters of two to four, and the babies stay in the nest (usually in a tree hollow) for about three months.

©Rob Klug
©Rob Klug
©Rob Klug
©Rob Klug

Squirrels ready for their close-ups

©Victoria Pickering
©Angela N.
©Rob Klug

The albino squirrels

We only get to see albino squirrels occasionally, so it’s a real thrill to spot one.

©Angela N.
©Victoria Pickering

The snowy owl

Snowy owls are a rarity in D.C. – the last one was seen here in 2014, before this new one came to D.C. last week to hang around Union Station and the nearby areas. She’s a young female, and the on-lookers have named her Duchess.

Snowy owls breed in the arctic tundra, and migrate a bit south during the winter, but usually not further south than the Great Lakes. In years where food (lemmings) is more plentiful, the snowy owl population expands and the chances of a few going further south increases. There are estimated to be 30,000 snowy owls, and they are classified as vulnerable to extinction.

©Angela N.
©Angela N.
Snowy owl under the full Wolf Moon ©Victoria Pickering
©Angela N.
Snowy owl looking at the Capitol. ©Victoria Pickering

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6 Comments

  1. I am not usually a fan of squirrels but you all convey their sweetness.
    I am also a big fan of Duchess.

  2. My Golden Retriever puppy is fascinated by squirrels. He loves to watch them play on the US Capitol Grounds. We also saw a gorgeous black squirrel in Shaw last week. This is a great article. I definitely will go “nuts” over National Squirrel Day in 2023.

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