Forest animals like squirrels can be tough to befriend. After all, they have to maintain the food pyramid and look out for their safety and survival. But some squirrels will win your heart with their friendly behavior and cuteness. You can return the favor if you know how to befriend a squirrel.
The main thing of your friendship with a squirrel is building trust. Sure, it requires a lot of your time and patience. Just try to greet the squirrel every time you see them. Show them that you are not a threat. Choose a spot to feed them every day. Slowly build a bond, and you’ll be friends in no time!
There isn’t a lot to do to befriend your squirrel neighbor. Once they know you mean no harm and that you’ll provide them with food, your job is pretty much done. Yet again, you can add so many details to make this friendship special.
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Why Would A Squirrel Not Approach You?
Animals are naturally scared of anything unknown to them. Squirrels aren’t any different.
It may be because you are unknown to them. Or, maybe it’s just because they observed and learned from other squirrels to avoid humans. They are intelligent beings, and they will study your behavior.
That’s why you have to show up every day with something they like to start being friends with them. And you can’t go wrong with food!
How To Befriend Your Squirrel Neighbor
As said before, you need a lot of patience to befriend a squirrel. Make sure you have enough spare time too. Here are some easy-to-follow steps with tips and tricks to help you with your sweet little mission.
Step 1: Make Acquaintance
The first step would be to make appearances in front of the squirrel. Walk by their house or the trees they climb around. It would be wise to turn it into a routine. Morning time can be the best for that.
Go for morning walks every day. Know for sure that they will be watching you and note your walking routine every time you pass by. This is an excellent trick to build up a good acquaintance.
Step 2: Talk To Them
At this point, you might be thinking that this is all gibberish. Don’t lose your interest yet. Talking isn’t all about the words you speak. Obviously, you two don’t have a common language yet. But you can create your own!
It can be any sign, sound, chirps, whistle, or something else. You can choose a specific sound or motion to call him or greet them.
Squirrels are intelligent. They can understand your body language and the patterns you show. So, choose what suits you best and remember to do that in front of them every time you two meet.
If you can’t decide on one, you can just try to communicate in your own language. They might pick up a word or two as their favorites. It’s a good first step to learning to connect and communicate.
Step 3: Feed Them From a Distance
Once you realize that they recognize your voice or face, you can take your relationship to the next level.
Try to feed them while keeping a safe distance. You should start with natural food that they are used to, like different types of nuts, small fruits, seeds. Some people say they also like flower buds.
You can even try offering sweet treats every once in a while. Lay down some grapes, apple slices, or vegetables like broccoli outside to allure them. These are pretty nutritious for them, along with being tasty.
Step 4: Feed From Your Hand
As time passes by, you can try staying closer while they eat. They might take time to trust you. But they will build up a bond with you eventually.
Squirrels can be very impulsive. They might run towards you and then suddenly change the direction to run the opposite way. But they will turn again and do the same thing repeatedly. This is the time when you have to be very careful and patient.
Wait there as they slowly learn to understand you. They will finally decide to eat even though you are standing just there. At one point, they’ll also learn to take treats from your hands.
Step 5: Keep The Consistency
You might think that once you have gained their trust, the job is done. But keeping the friendship alive is more challenging than befriending them.
Keep the activities consistent to maintain a healthy relationship. It’s only a matter of time till you win their trust.
Once you have offered them food regularly, they will start to take it as routine work. You have to understand that they will be looking for you if you don’t show up for a day.
If you don’t keep them meeting and greeting for a long time, they might get upset for losing a friend. Or, in the worst case, you might have to start your attempts at building a friendship all over again.
Tips And Tricks To Befriend A Squirrel
While feeding and connecting to your squirrel friend, there are a few things you should look out for. Here are a few nifty tips and tricks to make the bonding process much more manageable.
Use The Right Accessories
You can set up a mesh feeder for squirrels. It will attract them to your backyard or garden. Remove any repelling accessories like mirror and wind chimes near the feeder.
Handle The Food With Care
Do not throw food at them. It may scare them and put you out as a threat. Instead, place food gently or roll them on the floor towards them.
Some foods are very unhealthy for them. Things like raw peanuts, corns, or processed and canned food should be avoided.
Try To Make Them Feel Comfortable
If you feed them from your hand, make familiar noises like a whistle or clicking tongue. Or you cant just simply call them out by pretty names. Do not feed them with your hand if they aren’t comfortable enough, though!
Build A Healthy Relationship With Your Squirrel Friend
Good communication is the key to any successful relationship. You have to communicate with your friends, whether they are people or squirrels.
Communication can be performed in many different ways. When you are giving them food and shelter, they are receiving help. They will thank you in their ways in return.
Squirrels are known to bring their favorite stuff back to the people they like. They may get you nuts, flowers, small tree branches as a favor in return. When they do that, you should accept them with open arms. Give them treats in return.
This will assure them that you understand and respect their participation. This way, they will continue to connect with you and keep the friendship alive.
Researches also show that squirrels can recognize and remember faces and commands for more than two years. They mainly divide people into two groups – threat or predators and source of food. So, you better keep your friends feeding regularly and not make them wait that long to have fun together.
For a healthy relationship, you have to do what your heart desires and what’s best for your friends. To befriend a squirrel, the most essential thing that you need to do is be patient.
Take baby steps each day to improve your friendship. Give the squirrels enough time to process and remember the little things that you do for them. They will take time but will definitely befriend you one day. And then, it’s both of your jobs to spend quality time together and maintain a healthy friendship!