6 Meanings Of A Squirrel Staring At You

  • By: Ray Johnson
  • Date: June 20, 2022
  • Time to read: 7 min.

Animals communicate through gestures or by making sounds. This article discusses what it might imply when the squirrel stares at you. 

A squirrel staring at people from a tree

Coyotes, raccoons, weasels, and predatory birds such as owls, eagles, and falcons prey on squirrels. Thus, for squirrels to survive, they have to be alert. 

What It Means When A Squirrel Gazes At You 

There are different reasons why a squirrel could be staring at you. It’s good to know these reasons so that you can understand the squirrel and probably offer help when needed.  

1. The Squirrel Might Be Curious

As a rodent that is highly preyed upon, the squirrel can stare at you due to curiosity. Once the squirrel notices you, it will stare at you to determine whether you are a danger or not. 

If the squirrel considers you a danger, it will closely watch your next move to protect itself from the danger you might pose. 

Squirrels can see and understand what happens around them. They know that some of them are killed for meat. If you are close to a squirrel, it will want to know whether you have good or bad intentions. 

You can know a squirrel is curious if:

The squirrel lifts its head so that it can hear and see clearly 

The squirrel will wag its tail to inform other squirrels about the pending danger. In addition, tail wagging lets the squirrel inform the predator (you in this case) that it’s aware of the predator’s presence.

The squirrel gives you a sidelong glance and then extends or moves closer as if it wants a better view. 

2. The Squirrel Might Be Hungry

Baby squirrel being feed by a human being
Feeding a baby squirrel

Squirrels might live in your backyard or neighborhood. They can be fun to watch but should never be domesticated. In fact, in most cases, it is unlawful to domesticate a squirrel. 

If you are used to leaving some nuts and other food in your backyard, and the squirrels have made a habit of feeding on this food, they will develop a habit of coming to the backyard to feed. 

When the squirrel comes to the backyard and can’t find the food it was looking for, it will stare at you since it already knows that you are the one who provides the food. 

Some of the signs that the squirrel is staring at you since it is hungry and it is begging for food include;

1. The eyes of the squirrel are wide open and extensive as the squirrel stares at you.

2. If you have set a designated squirrel feeder area, the squirrel may run to that area as it wants to show you what it wants.

3. The squirrel stares at you while standing with its back legs as it wants to make itself taller to reach what you are giving it.

3. If the squirrel is tame, it will stare at you and grab the food once an opportunity arises

3. The Squirrel Might Be Looking Elsewhere

Squirrels have their eyes on the sides of their head, which means they have a wide range of vision. You might think that a squirrel is staring at you, while in reality, it’s just scanning the sky or looking somewhere else on the sides to determine the potential threats. 

As far as the vision of squirrels is concerned, they have excellent peripheral vision since they can see what is beside them or above them without jerking their head.  

Squirrels have a focusing power across the whole retina compared to humans with a single point retina. Squirrels do not have a good color vision, but they have pale-yellow lenses which act as natural sunglasses.

Therefore, it is likely that a squirrel is looking elsewhere and not staring at you, even if you might believe that it is staring at you. 

4. The Squirrel Might Be Interested In Your Next Move

Squirrel will stare at you when its not sure what you want to do next
Squirrel monitoring what is happening

A squirrel could be staring at you to see your next move. Once a squirrel has seen you, it expects that you can be friendly, hurting, or assume it and walk away. 

A squirrel can thus be staring at you to see what you are planning to do.

The squirrel can decide to ignore you, fight, or run away based on your action.  

Staring is one of the primary instincts of the squirrel, which makes it stay alive as it uses staring to make decisions.  

A good instant that can help you realize that the squirrel wants to know your next move involves a squirrel stopping what it was doing, freezing, keeping its ears up to listen for any sound which could be threatening, and twitching its whiskers and nose to smell any danger. 

Some signs that the squirrel is interested in your next move are; 

1. The squirrel raises its head to hear or see more clearly.

2. When the squirrel is watching you, it will raise its tail to ensure that it has enough room to flee if you become a threat.

3. The squirrel glances at you and stretches or moves towards you as if it wants a better view or one of its own.

4. If you make a loud noise or make sudden movements, the squirrel will flee because you are unpredictable and scared away.

5. The Squirrel Feels Threatened By You 

Still staring after it felt that it was threatened.
When a squirrel is threatened, it might stop what it was doing at stare at you

A squirrel will stare at you if it has a feeling you are a threat. In this case, the squirrel might be contemplating whether to wait and see what you will do or just run from you.  

A squirrel considers you a threat if you come too close to it.  

Likewise, if you are close to the squirrel’s food stock, it might think you want to steal its food. 

In some instances, the squirrel can realize when you change your direction, which makes it interested in your next move, especially if it suspects that you pose a danger to its existence. 

In such a case, the squirrel will stare at you, hoping to scare you away. If you stand your ground, the squirrel will run away.

1. A squirrel that is staring at you as it perceives you to be a threat displays the following;

2. The eyes of the squirrel narrow down without breaking eye contact.

3. The squirrel lowers its head and pulls back its ears. 

4. The squirrel makes its ears point forward to make them look intimidating to you.

5. As the squirrel stares at you, it chatters its teeth or makes a squeaking noise aiming to scare you off.

6. The squirrel flicks its stiff tail or puffs it up.  

7. The squirrel stands with its back leg legs as it wants to make itself bigger and scare you away.

8. If the squirrel stares at you and starts running away in unpredictable patterns, it considers you a threat and fears that you might catch it.

6. The Squirrel Might Be Interested In You

Based on the fact that squirrels are curious animals, they can stare at a person if they are interested in them. A squirrel can stare at you if you become attracted to it and if it does not perceive you as a threat. 

In this case, the squirrel is just interested in knowing more about you and what you might offer it in terms of food.

For a squirrel to be interested in you, you must have caught its curiosity either by making sounds that the squirrel can relate to or by talking to it;  

A squirrel that is interested in you will portray various signs, which include;

1. The squirrel will hold its head up as it wants to hear or see better

2. The squirrel will stand its tail up, and this is done when the squirrel is examining you to ensure that it is ready to get away if you change to become a threat

3. The squirrel stares at you and stretches or moves towards you to get a better view or have a better view.

4. If you try to make loud noise or sudden movements, the squirrel will dash off since you were unpredictable and scared it off


When a squirrel stares at you, it might imply different things. Knowing the reasons why the squirrel is staring at you implies that you will be able to find out whether the squirrel needs any help or whether it is just curious to find out what you might do to it.