Why Are Squirrels So Jumpy? find Out Here

Why Are Squirrels So Jumpy? find Out Here

Why Are Squirrels So Jumpy?

Squirrels are always on the lookout for predators. They’re instinctively skittish because they need to be extremely aware of what goes on around them, and their keen senses mustn’t let anything slip by unnoticed to stay safe from all sorts of threats.

Squirrels have incredible instincts that make them look a bit like a jumping bean at times. Since they never know when something might pop up out of nowhere, they are always on high alert.

Why Are Squirrels So Jumpy
Lil Baby Chi-Chi

Let me see if I can put you in the “shoes” of a squirrel. Imagine you are frantic and running from a swarm of bees. The bees are sweeping across your lawn. What do you do? Instinctively, you will run like the wind, zigzagging all over the place and look for cover.

A squirrel’s behavior may look like they are outrunning a swarm of bees, but this skittish behavior is instinctual and how they live everyday life. Throughout the day, their focus is to be aware of their surroundings and ready for danger at all times.

Squirrels Have a Heightened Sense of Awareness

These little cuties have a heightened sense of awareness and instinct that keeps them safe from many kinds of threats. Their skittish behavior is from curiosity and, like people, have a form of social anxiety.

Why Are Squirrels So Jumpy 01

Common Predators

  • Hawks because of their speed and excellent vision.
  • Owls also because of their speed.
  • Foxes
  • Coyotes
  • Weasels are very patient and great climbers that hunt both day and night.
  • Wildcats are very patient hunters like the weasel.
  • Snakes and an interesting fact that some ground squirrels are immune to the venom of a snake.

Peripheral Vision

Squirrels are constantly on guard for anything that may threaten them. Luckily, their peripheral vision gives them the ability to see above them, and all around, except for a blind spot behind them and just in front of the nose.

Monocular vision is where one eye sees independently from the other.

Binocular vision is where both eyes focus together.

Knowing they have a blind spot in front of their nose, I will give Hannibal the Squirrel a pass for nibbling on my finger a couple of summers ago. Check out the diagram to see how a squirrel sees their surroundings.

Why Are Squirrels So Jumpy Peripheral Vision
A Squirrel’s Peripheral Vision

Alert Even When Sleeping

Even when the animal is sleeping, its ears are always perked up in anticipation and listening so that they’re ready to attack or defend themselves at a moment’s notice.

Got sniffs?

Squirrels make sure their nose never stops sniffing either – just because there doesn’t seem to be anything dangerous happening now does not mean something can’t arise without warning!


Fear surrounds every waking second of a squirrel’s life: they must stay alert and alive by being vigilant about what could happen next; one false move on them might cost everything.

6 thoughts on “Why Are Squirrels So Jumpy? find Out Here”

  1. This is great!!!! I find squirrels to be so misunderstood as we often grow up believe that they have “brains the size of hazelnuts” because of their notable spastic behavior yet, they are actually some of the most unique and intelligent and perceptive little creatures! Thank you for enlightening us Maddy!!!

  2. ?? Listening to Squidward’s sniffing is so cute!
    ? I didn’t know about the blind spot between the nose and eyes, that’s probably why my fingers have been nibbled a few times. I will remember! ?


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