When Are Squirrels Most Active? All You Need to Know!

As a passionate nature lover with years of experience observing and interacting with squirrels all around the world, I know one thing for sure; when are squirrels most active? Have you ever noticed them running around in your backyard during the dawn and dusk hours more than any other time of day? That’s because crepuscular activity is the optimal time for these critters to find food and take care of themselves. In this blog post, I will explain why and how when are squirrels most active impacts their behavior.

Squirrels exhibit more movement during the transition times of daybreak and dusk as opposed to midday. During autumn and spring, their search for sustenance escalates this characteristic crepuscular behavior. This phenomenon is evident in their increase of activity throughout the entirety of the day.

When Are Squirrels Most Active?

During the autumn and springtime, squirrels engage in crepuscular activity – which means they become most active during dawn and dusk. During winter months, most ground squirrels hibernate, however their offspring may still scurry around on warm days. When temperatures get too high for comfort, squirrels estivate by burying themselves beneath the soil.

Daytime Habits

At midmorning, ground squirrels become quite lively and remain so until the late afternoon. Beyond 21°C (68°F), however, their energy dwindles and by 25°C (77°F) they are motionless. Tonkin observed that even when temperatures soared, the squirrels in Lawns Wood did not change their habits.

Nighttime Habits

In Pennsylvania, as the nights get colder and the sun begins to set earlier, one can expect an increase in squirrel movements in preparation for the fall and winter season.

Factors Affecting Activity Patterns


When the thermometer reads 21°C (68°F) or below, squirrels become more foraging-focused as they look to stockpile food for the colder months ahead. On the flip side, when temperatures soar to 25°C (77°F), activity virtually ceases and their attention turns elsewhere.

Presence of Predators

Full moons can make spotting small animals like squirrels easier for predators. For this reason, activity levels often decrease on days when there is a full moon.

Availability of Food Sources

As winter approaches, a squirrel’s food searches will become increasingly frequent. By stocking up on food before winter arrives, they ensure that they have enough resources to survive throughout its duration.

Mating Behaviors

Communication Habits

Mating season occurs during January while young are born late February or early March. The litter size usually consists of two to four young and only one litter is raised per year.

Nesting and Burrowing Habits

Aestivation is a period similar to hibernation which occurs during hot summer weather instead of cold winter weather. Before entering the aestivation state, ground squirrels will block off the entranceways of their burrows as protection from predators.


At what time of day are squirrels least active?

Gray squirrels are generally least active during the summer, preferring to be more energetic in the autumn, winter, and spring months. The best time to hunt them is during either dawn or dusk when the leaves on the trees provide a useful camouflage.

When is the most optimal time to go hunting for squirrels?

Squirrel hunting is best done in the early morning or late evening when the leaves are still on the trees. This is because gray squirrels are most active during the autumn, winter and spring but tend to be less active during the summer months. By hunting at this time, it ensures that the squirrels have had a chance to come out of their dens and begin foraging for food.


Squirrels tend to be most active at the break of day and close to sundown when they come out to find food. As the weather starts to warm in springtime and cool in autumn, their activity begins to spike, creating what is known as crepuscular behavior. Therefore, if you’re looking for squirrels, you’ll likely have the best luck around the dawn and dusk hours.

It’s important to remember that squirrels often travel great distances hunting for food so it’s possible to find them roaming about during any time of day. Humans should take precautions when interacting with these fast creatures who may have collected food from far away locations – don’t forget to stay safe and keep squirrels wild!

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