Let’s Hear It for Squirrels! Celebrate Squirrel Appreciation Day, January 21, with these nutty activities! by Gerry Bishop; art by Jack Desrocher SWINGING SNACK What You Need 2 large pine cones 2 pieces of wire (each about 3 feet long) 1 cup of peanut butter 2 cups of birdseed 2 plates What You Do Wrap a piece of wire around the top of each pine cone. Twist the ends of the wire together to form a loop for hanging. Smear the cones with peanut butter. (Be sure to fill all the spaces between the pine-cone scales.) Roll the cones in birdseed until they are completely covered. Place each cone on a plate and put in the freezer for an hour. Hang the cones on tree branches and watch squirrels go for the goodies! CORNY STUNT What You Need large eye screw ear of dried corn (from store that sells birdseed) heavy string or wire What You Do Twist a large eye screw in one end of the corn cob. Tie a piece of heavy string to the eye, and tie the other end to a tree branch. The string should be long enough so the bottom of the corn cob is about 10 inches above the ground. Watch the squirrels leap onto the corn and swing to and fro. (Tip: If the squirrels don’t seem interested in the corn, smear a little peanut butter on the cob to attract their attention.) Squirrels are world-class jumpers. But how high can they truly leap? Find out by raising the hanging corn cob higher and higher. Now Appreciate THIS! A squirrel’s front teeth never stop growing. Chewing on hard nuts keeps them worn down to the right length. Squirrels can sniff out food buried under a foot of snow. The food squirrels dig up is often not the food they buried. If a gray squirrel suspects that another squirrel is watching where it’s hiding a nut, it only pretends to bury it. These activities appeared in the December/January 2015 issue of Ranger Rick magazine. Click here for a pdf of the article. WATCH THIS! Snacking Squirrels Video Take the Squirrel Challenge Do you have what it takes to be a clever squirrel? Can you outwit hungry birds? What about angry people who will go to great lengths to keep you out of their bird feeders? Play our Squirrel vs. Bird Feeder game! Outdoor Activities This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.