UniquePetsWiki is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more

Do Squirrels Bark? Top #1 Squirrel Fun Fact You Must Know

Have you ever heard a barking sound coming from trees and wondered what animal could be making such noises? Did it make you question if squirrels do bark?

Any barking sounds directed at you can make you wonder if you are at risk of being attacked. It is more shocking if the barking sound came from a tree, and you cannot see which animal is making it.

Once you are sure of the specific animal making the barking sound, you can deal with the situation appropriately. Keep reading the article to learn more.

This article has been reviewed by Dr. Linda. Read more about our knowledge control process here.

Do Squirrels Bark? What Sounds Do Squirrels Make?

Do squirrels make barking sounds? Are you curious to know if squirrels bark and what barking sound do they make?

Squirrels do make screeching noises. The exact sound made by a squirrel is a squawk. That means if you heard squawks coming from trees, then they were made by squirrels.

Like most animals, squirrels make sounds to express certain emotions. Although the squawk may not necessarily be as complex as the human language, it will deliver the message it intends to.

Human beings are known to have the best form of communication through the use of words. However, for squirrels, the complexity is not as important as the intention of the message being understood.

When a squirrel squawks, its primary intention is to ignite the intended response. A good example is when a squirrel sees another squirrel within their food sources. The squirrel will produce screeching noises as a warning.

A barking squirrel [source: this_girl_is_a_squirrel]

The screeching noises act as a way of establishing the presence of the defending squirrel to the other. Any squirrel with good intentions will always reveal it to avoid a confrontation.

It then becomes correct to say that squirrels will produce a barking sound referred to as a squawk.

Why Do Squirrels Bark?

Squirrels make a barking sound known as a squawk for various reasons. The main aim of squirrels squawking is to communicate a given message.

The first reason for a squirrel to squawk would be an alarm call. Once a threat is identified in the environment, squirrels will immediately squawk. By squawking, squirrels intend to warn other squirrels.

Any nearby squirrel would interpret the squawk as a sign to be on high alert. That means it would be difficult for the predator to make any surprise attack since all squirrels would be on the high lookout.

The squawk also discourages the predator from making an attack. Once a predator is discovered, it already knows it will be difficult to make any surprise attacks. That will, therefore, mean that it will move along.

do squirrel bark
Do squirrels bark? Yes, they do.Squirrels make a barking sound known as a squawk for various reasons. The main aim of squirrels squawking is to communicate a given message.

A squirrel will also squawk when making aggression calls. This will happen if an invasion of their territory is felt. Squirrels tend to mark their territories with scents to ward off any unknowing squirrels. 

However, if a squirrel were to ignore such signs, the defending squirrel would make aggression as a warning to the intruders. The squirrel will warn other squirrels and humans as well. 

Why Do Squirrels Sound Like Barking?

After being sure of squirrels producing a barking sound, you may wonder why it sounds so. Everyone knows that dogs make a barking sound. How then would such a small animal have the same sound?

A squirrel will produce sounds for different reasons. The sounds vary depending on the intended purpose of the squirrel. A good example is when squirrels make mating calls. Mating calls are pretty different from alarm calls.

A squirrel will make baby squirrel noises which are an indication that there is no threat being issued. If it were an alarm call, the sound would be more of a bark. 

Back to the main question, how exactly does a squirrel make barking sounds? Squirrels make a “Kuk” sound. The Kuk sound is more of a sharp bark. It sounds like barking because it comes out in a series.

Squirrels produce the sound to raise the alarm. Once a squirrel sees a predator, it will, without a doubt, begin to make the kuk sound as an acknowledgment of its presence.

Once a predator such as a cat hears the barking sound, it will turn back since any nearby squirrel has also listened to the warning.

Why Do Squirrels Squawk at Humans?

You may be passing by an area with squirrels only for you to hear them squawk at you. Why would your innocent presence cause squirrels to squawk at you?

The apparent reason that will make a squirrel squawk at you is if you appear to them as a threat. Squirrels are very defensive. A squirrel is always on high alert.

Squirrels raise alarms when any possible threat comes their way. It is one survival strategy that has worked quite well for them. Once a squirrel sees a threat, it will raise the alarm with the intention of warning nearby squirrels.

The nearby squirrels will then be on high alert to avoid predators that may be targeting them. A squirrel will therefore squawk at you as it considers you to be a predator. 

However, if you have previously interacted with the squirrel through feeding, it may not raise any alarm. Once you feed a squirrel, it will be sure to remember you, and so it will not be worried over your presence around it.

Always remember that squirrels are very territorial. Any squawk is a sign you are invading their territory, and that makes them uncomfortable.

What Does It Mean When Squirrels Make Noise and Shake Their Tail?

Apart from squawking, you may find a squirrel shaking its tail and wonder what that is all about. Squirrels also communicate through their tails. A squirrel will wag its tail as a way of relaying specific information.

Squirrels tend to make noise and wag their tail when they are alarmed or startled. In most cases, when trouble is around the corner. The tail wagging and squawks help to warn other squirrels of a predator that is nearby.

All squirrels that hear squawks turn in the direction of the sound. Once they see the squirrel wagging its tail, that is a sign to tell them that they should be on high alert for danger is around the corner.

Squirrels will also make noises and wag their tails when being territorial. Squirrels will always store food away when preparing for cold winter months. If other squirrels encroach on their food sources, they tend to make noises while wagging their tails.

It is a warning to other squirrels that they are not ready to share what is theirs. If the other squirrel refuses to heed their warning, a fight is likely to erupt.

Wrapping Up

Squirrels make barking sounds known as squawks. Most people may confuse it with the bark made by a dog. When squirrels squawk, it is crucial to understand that they are being defensive. 

Squirrels are naturally defensive animals and will always sound the alarm when any predator is identified in the surroundings. Apart from being defensive, they also squawk to inform you that they have already acknowledged your presence.

When a cat or snake is approaching a squirrel, the squirrel squawks to tell them they are already aware of their presence. That will discourage the predator who had planned on making a surprise attack.

Leave a Comment

About UniquePetsWiki

UniquePetsWiki is the preferred educational source on pets favored by experienced herptologists and new owners alike. With hundreds of articles on everything pertaining to pets including reptiles, squirrels, and other pets, our experienced team provides reliable and accurate content you can trust.

From proper husbandry and habitat guidance, to articles on health concerns, diet, and extensive care guides, UniquePetsWiki is here to educate everyone on all pets concerns.


UniquePetsWiki is not a veterinary website, nor should any of the reptile health information on our site replace the advice of a certified veterinary professional. If your pet is experiencing a medical emergency, contact an experienced veterinarian immediately.

UniquePetsWiki is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.