Why do squirrels scream?

Have you ever been walking in the woods or sitting in your backyard and heard a strange scream that made you wonder what kind of creature it could be coming from? Well, the answer may shock you.

Animals “screaming” in Wisconsin

My family may live in Illinois, but we spend a lot of our free time at our cabin in Wisconsin, and a lot of wildlife stuff happens there that doesn’t happen at home.

For example, our Illinois neighborhood is new and doesn’t have a lot of trees…our cabin in Wisconsin is surrounded by trees. We don’t see deer parked in our lawn in Illinois but they are often greeted by deer in Wisconsin. We hear a lot of strange animal noises in Wisconsin, but birds chirping is just as innocent as at home.

Given the time my family spends in Wisconsin, I follow a lot of Wisconsin-focused social media pages, and this morning I came across a strange question from a newcomer to Weird Wisconsin Facebook Group

Weird wisconsin via facebook

Weird wisconsin via facebook

Screaming squirrels? I think the squirrels just hoard the nuts and fight with other squirrels that get too close to their nuts. Is this person wrong or is he hearing something I have never heard before?!?

Turns out squirrels actually scream, and after watching this video I realized I hear that sound a lot in Illinois and Wisconsin, but I always assumed it was birds…

Why do squirrels scream?

The short answer is; Squirrels scream when they’re distressed, but that’s not all they do. According to an article from Trotec Wildlife Service;

They have a wide range of vocal sound features, including squeaks, barks, and grunts. When distressed, groups of squirrels make high-pitched, bird-like sounds.

According to mammalogist Brian Harding, squirrels use sound to protect themselves and their territories. Their alarm calls consist of screams, rattles, barking, and grunting. The sounds kuk, muk-muk and quaa are used to express interest in mating.

Here’s an interesting video showing some of the squirrels’ screams, rattles, barks, etc…

Honestly, my mind is pretty blown right now. I know I’ve heard all these sounds before, but I never in a million years thought they all came from a squirrel!

Here are more interesting animal facts that you might know by now…

See: 30 Fascinating Facts About Sleep in the Animal Kingdom

Check out these 50 fascinating facts about dogs:

(tags for translation)Why do squirrels scream

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