When Are Squirrels Most Active - Are Squirrels Most Active During The Day

When Are Squirrels Most Active – Are Squirrels Most Active During The Day?

Squirrels can be classified as red squirrels, gray squirrels, fox squirrels, ground squirrels, tree squirrels, swimming squirrels, and flying squirrels which are nocturnal. Although there are a variety of them, they share almost the same behaviors of being active at specific periods of the day. They are usually active during the day but depending on the weather they may be active or not during the day time. If you noticed squirrel activity in your attic we recommend calling our professional squirrel removal services for fast and reliable service.

When the day is warm and it is little or no wind accompanied with a bright light it becomes a suitable day for the fox squirrels. During such days they are active the whole day through a little bit more during the morning and afternoon. Fox squirrels are also more active during the hours of the day that are sunny and bright. Their counterparts the gray squirrels are usually active during the hours of the day that are cloudy; being active the whole day if the day remains cloudy.

For ground squirrels, the case is almost the same as others though it shows increased activities between midmorning to late afternoon. During the winter, ground squirrels hibernate thus being inactive the whole day. But their young ones can still be active during the day time where the winters are favourable. During very hot days, the ground squirrel goes to a period of inactivity called estivation where they bury themselves in the soil resulting in a period of inactivity during the day and night time.

Lastly, all squirrels are considered as diurnal animals because they are active during day time. During spring and fall all kinds of squirrels follow the same behaviour, that is, they are active the whole day with increased activity in the early evening and also sometimes during the late afternoon. Also, all Squirrels have the peculiar characteristics of being more active in the daytime (from around 8.00 am to 5.00 pm) during the seasons of light rain. Scientists say it is unusual behavior.

What Month Are Squirrels Most Active?

One thing to take note of when trying to identify the activity period of squirrels is the fact that there are different species. For tree squirrels, they are active all year round. The same applies to gray squirrels who even through winter months remain highly active and visible.

The squirrels that remain active all year round take precautions to ensure they can survive the upcoming winter. That is, they build up thick layers of fat before the winter to retain body heat.

However, there are certain species of squirrels who go into hibernation during the winter months. Such an example is the Richardson’s ground squirrel, native to Manitoba and Southern Alberta. It can go into hibernation for as long as seven to nine months.

The most active period for the ground squirrel is during the fall months when it begins its forage for food to prepare for the next winter.

Are Squirrels More Active in The Day or Night?

Most squirrels are more diurnal than nocturnal meaning that their active period is during the early hours of the day up until the sun goes down. However, this does not mean they don’t engage in night activities. They take the night hours as a period to rest but certain exceptions such as taking care of their young may lead to them moving around at night.

The only squirrel species known to be primarily active at night is the flying squirrel. But, unlike their day counterparts, they are not loud and less likely to draw attention to themselves. So, unless you reside in a region known for flying squirrels which are nocturnal, there is a high likelihood that the noises you hear coming from your attic during the day time are from squirrels.

Are Squirrels Active in The Summer?

Most squirrels are active all year round, but for others, their habitat determines their active and rest period. Such an example is the Mohave ground squirrel which stays in the southwest of America. The summer in this location is often hot and dry, therefore, to cope with these conditions, the squirrel has a period of dormancy known as aestivation.

Aestivation is like hibernation with the only difference being that it occurs during the summer. During this period, what the squirrel does is to go to sleep pending the time the temperatures drop. Before aestivation, the ground squirrel blocks the entrance to their burrows to guard against predators.

For other squirrels, although the hot summer weather may impact their movements, you are more likely to see them spread-eagled on different surfaces in a “heat dispersing posture”.

What Time of Day Do Squirrels Come Out?

It is quite easy to spot a squirrel running around during the early hours of the morning especially if your property is attractive to them. However, what you might be interested in knowing is what time of day they come out during the different seasons.


During light rains, it is not unusual to see a squirrel foraging with its busy tail serving as a form of protection from the rain. However, in a strong downpour, don’t expect a squirrel to come out of its burrow. This is because one their fur gets soaked, it becomes harder for them to control their body temperature.


In winter, certain squirrels like the ground squirrel are hibernating. So, although you may see them active during the summer, they are foraging for food in preparation for the winter months.

What Time Do Squirrels Come Out in The Morning?

The different species of squirrels have their own preference period for coming out. Therefore, to know which one is causing a ruckus in your attic at a time of the day, you can take note of their “wake up” period. The grey squirrels during autumn come out from their nests prior to dawn.

For the red squirrels’ different naturalists have observed that their wake-up time is usually about 15 to 30 minutes after sunrise. However, for nursing female squirrels, they emerge from their nest between 2am to 3am and have longer active hours than the non-breeding ones. For most of the year, the red squirrel maintains a bimodal activity pattern with its peak activity hours occurring three hours after sunrise and another three hours before sunset.

We provide squirrel removal services in Toronto, Scarborough, Markham, Ajax, Whitby, Pickering, and Oshawa.

Update Article: February 10, 2020

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