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Do the Squirrels Know Something We Don’t?

It is hot. It is humid. With this ongoing heat wave around the country, I don’t think anyone is seriously thinking about winter, except maybe the squirrels in my neighborhood.

It is hot. It is humid. With this ongoing heat wave around the country, I don’t think anyone is seriously thinking about winter, except maybe the squirrels in my neighborhood.

One of the many traditionally cited signs of a hard winter is an unusual abundance of acorns. It’s also said that squirrels will start gathering these nuts earlier than usual to fortify themselves against a hard winter. Last week, I noticed “a ton” of acorns on my driveway and back deck. I cleaned it all up just in time to spend four days in Phoenix on business. (Talk about hot!)

Last night, I slept with my bedroom window open and, at around 6 a.m., I could hear a squirrel going crazy shaking the acorns out of the oak tree outside my window. And I don’t mean just a few, either. The nuts hitting the deck were cacophonous, and there were so many I couldn’t see the wooden deck beneath them!

So, now I’m wondering; is this is just a case of one crazy, overly-greedy squirrel with an outdated calendar? Does this guy know something we don’t? Or is he just afraid of the cost of food and fuel next winter?

If you have an oak tree, drop us a comment below and let me know whether the acorns are dropping in huge numbers, or the squirrels are being overly active. I’d like to know if I’m the only one.

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Becky

The squirrels here in southwest Georgia started with our cedar tree. They chewed so much on the needles and seeds that our deck below looked like shag carpet. They’ve stripped the sweet gum tree of balls and the ground beneath looks like sweet gum-ball mulch. They’ve collected all of the acorns from our oaks. We’ve been here 7 years and it’s the first time we’ve seen this.

Teresa Klein

I don’t know why people think squirrels are such an inconvenience I see them everyday it gives me pleasure from the miserable life I live I see them those black oil sunflower seeds and every morning they count on me to eat and if that’s a bad thing then so be it but I see the morning Glory does some of them stay behind and having gone farther south and then I feed my stray cat I don’t do much I’m very sick and this is the only enjoyment I have

Sharlena

Living in north country we see animals prepare for winter each year. With that said, I have never witnessed the level of activity the squirrels are displaying this year. I have watched squirrels drag whole cobs of corn 150 yards from the field to their nests (old tree trunks)!! And It’s not just one or two cobs, it’s all day long back and forth. I became obsessed with watching for the yellow streak across the green grass. Then I noticed the squirrels continued to pull cobs of corn off the stalks even while it rained. In all my years I’ve never seen anything like it!!! Yes, I have pictures to back up my observations. I attached a picture to this comment but it doesn’t show up.

Last edited 2 months ago by Sharlena
Susan Higgins

Hi Sharlena, send the picture to [email protected] ATT: Susan
Thanks!

Gail Duffany

It looks like a war zone here in our Condo setting (Merrimack, NH). An over-abundance of clusters everywhere we look, road leading into, on all lawns, driveways, everywhere!!! clusters of chunks chewed off our oak trees left by squirrels who have seem to been busy invading our property during the past month and a half… !! What’s going on? Will there be any leaves left on the Oak trees? What are they up to? They’re very busy burying their acorns, but leaving the clumps behind (so, not building a nest with them??). Never saw this site before… Lived here most of my life in NH. Anyone know what this means? Bad winter? or Invasion?

Gail Duffany

Squirrels chewing off tons of clusters from Oak trees here in Merrimack, NH

Nancy

Every evening, I sit outside and read before making dinner – it does not matter what the weather is as I am under a covered deck. This is the FIRST time EVER that I have ever experienced “something” throwing down green pinecones to the ground! The large tree is in the vacant lot next door and I investigated to see a squirrel (very high up) tossing down green pinecones. It is hilarious. Maybe it will be an intense Winter?

Robyn G

There is a tree right on the side of my house and for the past week it sounds like someone is hitting my roof and siding with a baseball bat! The squirrels are going nuts jumping on the branches. The acorns are going in my gutters! They have never done this before! I am in New Bedford, MA

Last edited 3 months ago by Robyn G
Teresa Klein

See I don’t see is a big problem where I’m at I’m in Chicopee Massachusetts I’m looking outside right now and a lot of trees are dead there’s no branches no nothing and then there’s other trees but none of them carry any acorn seeds or anything like that there’s no pine trees I lived here 2 years I put black oil sunflower seeds out there and they love them and if it makes me a bad person well then throw me in prison I also feed the morning Glory does that stay behind for the winter and my stray cats I have about 6 months 2 year to live and I really don’t give a damn what anybody thinks

Stephanie Burris

I woke up this morning with the noise of acorns bombing our roof. When I looked in the tree above the area there was a squirrel shaking the branches and dropping acorns on the roof. I looked down the street and the same thing seems to be happening at our neighbors as well.
We are in Arlington, Texas.

Tammy Proman

I live in Southeast Georgia and the squirrels are going crazy here,we feed them cob corn,they eat the suet for the birds,even the bird seed,and our oak trees are full of acorns,we must be in for a hard winter,but this is Savannah,Ga!!lol

Dannielle

I’m in Horry SC and every oak tree and now pine tree is being strip clean I’ve never seen this before down here.

Gail Duffany

I guess they’re EVERYWHERE !!! i’M IN nh…. AND JUST WROTE ABOUT THE SAME THING… WE’RE BEING INVADED !! what’s up with that??

D M

My driveway has been covered with acorns and even branches for a month now. They are staining the driveway. The other day I saw he/she run from across the street to my Crape Myrtle up the branch and jumped into the Live oak. I yelled at him/her to stop making a mess and he yelled back at me chattering into the Oak tree! LOL! I have been sweeping the nuts off the driveway to no avail. I don’t understand why only my tree and not the next door neighbors tree that has acorns too? We had a light freeze last year and I am anticipating a cold winter this year. I’m in Florida. My dad always said there were 10 year cycles in weather and I believe we are in the “cold” cycle now. Approximately 8 more years if my estimate is right.

Last edited 4 months ago by D M
Cynthia Beller

The oak trees are out from the house in the woods so I don’t hear them.

Keithette

Sacramento, CA The squirrels started digging and burying at the beginning of August and haven’t stopped. I’ve not seen this before. All over the garden, yard and shrubs.

Karen Brooks

Missoula, Montana,,,,,,, I live in the Mountains and the Squirrels have just ALL Gone, about a Month ago (July) ! Not one Squirrel to be seen !!! This is NOT Normal as I see them through out the Winter months as well !??? This is Sooo Weird ! WHAT is going on, Where did they go ? The Bird’s are Not as Plentiful either !???

Cynthia Beller

Same here… NW Arkansas… I’m puzzled because the birds have all but disappeared too.
The deer are plentiful!
Can someone give a reason!

Susan Higgins

Hi Cynthia, there are so many reasons why this could be happening: food sources, increase in predators (everything from house cats to hawks’ nests). Perhaps contact your local birding group or university to see if they have an answer.

MIchael John KITCHURA

Can’t be food we buy 50 lb bags they are up in the trees fox can’t climb lots of water ??????

Sue Wickett

Lots of squirrels gleaning sunflowers seeds under feeder all day long during July and, now, August. No extra acorns. Harsh winter ahead?

Janet Larson

My oak tree 8n northern CA is dropping acorns w/tops, but hardly visible nuts. What does this mean? Never happened before and this tree is over 30 yrs old…

Pia

I live in NJ. This summer in the hot days of July, I noticed how busy the squirrels were burying Kousa dogwood tree nuts which were green still. They cleaned out the tree. Usually deer eat them when they turn red in the fall. I couldn’t help but wonder if this behavior was a sign of the upcoming winter.

Margaret White

I live in Charlotte and there seems to be tons of acorns and also the squirrels I’m seeing now are very young and seem to be hoarding the acorns as fast as they fall and there seems like the squirrels are running around crazy .

Richard

Sarasota, Florida. 4th winter here and I’ve never seen so many acorns. Six squirrels currently under tree having a feast!

Barbara L.

I am in Ohio. The squirrels are it seems all in one tree. I went outside to try to figure out what was happening. I heard a high odd pitched whistle from the tree. Any ideas?

Barbara L.

Lots of squirrels in a tree where normally there would be a lot less.lots of snow on the ground. Yes overly active with signs of a territorial dispute around the tree.

Caroline

It’s happening a lot. I’m in Santa Clarita CA
I’m watching this happen like crazy. Lol

Jan

The squirrels don’t seem to be overly active but what is puzzling to me is the amount of acorns covering my driveway and under the other oak trees that have not been gathered. This is very out of the norm for where I live in GA (the Atlanta area); I’m so puzzled.

Chris L

I don’t have acorns but pecans,same thing…Norman Oklahoma

Linda

I live in Lexington, KY. The squirrels are frantic today. Oak tree in front yard and it is a war zone to step outside, fear of being hit with the falling acorns and twigs of leaves. Plus the squirrels chattering as if something is very wrong.

Shelby Steele

I live in north ga and the squirrels have been going at it gathering nuts like crazy for a few weeks now. I have an oak tree in front of my house and there are acorns all over my yard and my steps leading up to my porch. I’ve never noticed our squirrels so busy and we have lots of squirrels. We need a good cold winter and I hope we get one.

Elizabeth

Eastern Central Georgia here. They seem to be going nuts (no pun intended) over our pine trees and I’ve found tons of shelled acorns laying around.

Jan Berry

I live in So. Oregon and have a dozen Oak trees. Last year they dropped an abundance of acorns and this year as well, but last year our winter was very mild, barley average rain fall. Hope this year has a lot more,,ready for a very rainy winter, a little snow would be nice too.

Onda Gibboney

We’ve been seeing squirrels carrying buckeyes and they have them every laying all over our yard. We were always told that meant fora cold harsh winter

Bobbi

I’m in NJ and there have been jokes about the “Mass Squirrel Suicied” of 2020. Just passed probably 100 squirrel carcasses on the strip of major highway I was just on.

Tony

Mid-Michigan here.. Saw dozens of squirrels on a few fairways last week and I thought it was odd. Figured they were preparing for a long cold winter.

Theresa

I have been watching my yard get taken over by very active squirrels for about a month. They’ve been running all over my porch with nuts in their mouths and even coming up to the window to harass my indoor cat. I’ve never seen them so active but was wondering if it’s just because I’m working from home due to the pandemic so I’ve never been around to see them before this year.

Margie Smith

We have a descent amount. But no squirrels. Only deer. Haven’t seen a squirrel this summer. What does that mean.

barb trueman

I live in Whitby Ontario Canada… No sigh of ANY squirrels… Where have they all GONE !!!! It is alarming !!! Not ONE ANY WHERE !!!

Karen Brooks

YES ! Same thing here in Missoula, Montana area ! ?

Mike

Squirrels are aggressively pursueing acorns at my home in New York. They are even breaking off the tips of oak branches. Shells are raining down. The are even eating my tomatoes.
I have never seen anything like it.

Mike in N.Y.

Robert

I live in Charlotte, NC and the squirrels are going crazy this year collecting so many nuts this year. We have been here 18 years and I’ve never seen it like this. Are we in for a rough winter?

Cathy Kage

I live in Michigan and the acorns are large and already dropping,AND the Squirrels are really hiding them!

Darlene Hyman

This morning in Indiana (an hour south of Indianapolis), this day is cool, almost looks like it’s getting ready for Fall. I saw geese flying Southeast, and a gray squirrel was licking my wood deck! It wasn’t chewing on the wood, just licking. From all the comments, I have been wondering about this coming winter.

Denae

I’ve noticed the squirrels in our yard this year are very active. Our large oak tree has chunks of leaves that have fallen in clumps scattered around the ground under the tree. I assume it is from the squirrels gathering nuts. I’ve never seen this before. Also, a lot of “squirrel chatter” and digging holes all over the ground. A neighbor has told me that a lot of acorns have fallen from their tree this year.

Debbie Hocking

Early Sept. here in Texas and I noticed squirrels are very very active burying nuts, Does this mean a cold winter?

KK

I also living Texas and the squirrels are eating the green pecans constantly from our pecan tree. I have never noticed this before this early (September), and I have lived here my whole life. It is strange.

Debbie Hocking

This whole year has been strange.

Cathie Harvey

I have a black walnut tree and I’ve been watching squirrels gathering walnuts. Is this something to do with the coming winter?

Kay Coughlin

The squirrels are eating green acorns like crazy here in Raleigh NC.

Peggy

The squirrels in Iowa are eating a lot of green acorns and knocking out of the trees! What does this mean for winter?

Juanita Puckett

Never have i noticed the squirrels throwing so many acorns from the trees. It is raining acorns the ground is covered. Squirrels are not eating them. Is this a sign of a bad winter in Louisville Kentucky?

kirby manning

This year I observed the squirrels foraging for food early in July and I informed my husband that we would have and early Fall and a very cold winter.
It isn’t one greedy squirrel…. The signs are there.
My prediction based on the squirrels & animals is we will experience lower temperatures and icy conditions. Growing up in the mountains my Grandparents always talked about observing Nature; the forest, & the animals of the Forest because they would predict the coming winter weather.
My husband feeds the birds every winter. This year the animals have been unusually quiet. I observe them all even the crows. The squirrels, the rabbits, the deer, & the fox. I noticed one thin, lone fox close to our home in the mountains. It is a feeling almost as if it is carried by the wind. This winter is going to be very cold.

Chris Wilson

I don’t necessarily know what it means but I have noticed the same thing in Indiana. Squirrels here will normally cut the Hickory trees first but this year they are hammering the green acorns. I don’t know if they have a higher fat content than hickory nuts but I can tell you this, the squirrels I have shot this year (season started Aug 15) have had a lot of fat and thick coats, unusually thick for this time of year. ‍♂️ Could be a sign of a cold winter but who knows. I agree with the statement of paying attention to nature though. They know more than we ever will.

Jim

I’ve watched squirrels gathering nuts every year for many years from a hickory in my yard. What I don’t understand this year is they are eating them! Under the tree are all chewed up shells. I haven’t seen any being carried away like they usually do. What’s up with that?

Robert DeMoura

On Rte 93 south from Concord, New Hampshire to Merrimack, New Hampshire there are 100 squirrels dead on the road; is something happening to make the squirrels run across the Highway? I’ve been going up to the lake region in New Hampshire and for the last 25 years never seen this before. Bob DeMoura

Susan Higgins

Hi Robert, Here in Maine we’re encountering the same thing. Wildlife experts tell us that there was a population explosion, and they’re taking more risks for gathering acorns.

John

I live in Mass. in the Merrimack Valley. All day yesterday and today , flocks of birds have been flying into the oaks and shaking out the acorns. Sounds like a never ending hail storm. Never saw that before.

Susan Higgins

Hi John, interesting! If you can get it on video sometime, share it with us.

John

Yea, funny over last month (aug) ive cleaned nuts/shells from my oak tree and crate murtal tree filling my drive way and street., every other day … the last few days everyday !!! There’s only like 5-7 squirrels but they are busy ., this doesn’t happen in New Orleans till first cool front … this happened pre-Katrina thought nothing of it .,but remember after 4′ of water in my neighbor hood for 2 weeks ., the only wildlife I seen was squirrels … now the hurricane Irma is headed on same path Katrina was headed and as with Katrina wasn’t suppose to make the Atlantic ??? So I think squirrels may know something of predicting weather , 9-7-17

WildlifeLover

To all who have recently questioned where have all the squirrels or other wildlife/food supply gone, the answer is to LOOK UP. We have been subjected to a government geo-engineering program without our will or knowledge. Have you noticed “contrails” of planes that are very prominent and don’t disappear, but instead expand and billow into clouds that cover the sun? These planes spray overnight as well, so you awake to a sky mostly covered in a haze of gray. The chemicals sprayed are supposedly a plan to “help climate change”, but it is all very suspect and not on the up and up. They are using large amounts of aerosols to spray these chemicals, after all. And aerosols are known to deplete the ozone layer. The experimenting started under Bush and was much more heavily implemented under Obama, particularly in the the last few months of his last term. All the government alphabet agencies know about it and were involved in the coverup. Let’s hope that with a new administration and an outsider to the EPA (Scott Pruitt), we can actually put an end to the destruction of our atmosphere and our wildlife.

Lisa

We’ve had an over abundance of acorns this fall. I noticed my bird houses are stuffed full and piled on the ground underneath them. Trying to figure out if this means we will be in for a hard cold winter?

Dennis

Tons of acorns here in central Mass. Large numbers of squirrels were in oak trees eating and throwing every other nut to the ground. Also biting off a lot of the leaves in bunches. There would be five to six squirrels in each tree. Acorns all down now. Never seen squirrels do this before.

Carolyn Pfanz

I live in Manito, Il (40 miles south of Peoria). The acorns are thick this fall. We had lots of squirrels this summer, and very few are to be seen now, (October 2, 2016). My neighbor has been squirrel hunting in lots of different areas and has not had one shot. Something is wrong. Where have all our squirrels gone? I have collected lots of acorns from my deck for them this cold winter, and stored them in my freezer so they won’t mold.
Also two of my neighbors have found a dead squirrel in their yard. Anyone know what is going on??

Abilene Gray

I live in St Petersburg, FL where a man feeds our park squirrels peanuts even though we have a ban. Now we cannot picnic in the park because the squirrels come right onto the tables. I think when people feed wildlife it makes them dependent. When I lived in Vermont, I never saw a dead squirrel but had to get them out of the attic a few times. I hope they haven’t caught anything or eaten something that poisoned them. Or, we could send you a few hundred from our park….

Roxy

I found this page because I was trying to find out why the squirrels are knocking the Buckeyes out of my tree. I’ve never seen them do this before, what’s more the are eating them, they are not storing them. They are hardly any left on the tree. Then they go and knock the acorns out. I don’t know what they’re doing with those. I’m in East Tennessee in the Smoky Mountains

jeff

I have noticed, along with some other people, in other areas from mine here in south central MI, that the squirrels are burying walnuts already, and they are burying them green, and unshucked. I was told that we are in for a hard winter, due to this activity. Anyone else, heard of this?

Liz

I live in Rhode Island. Squirrels are eating my vegetable garden, sunflowers and canes, anything they can bet you it’s going to be a hard winter. We are actually in a drought right now. Farmers market here I come. They don’t like yellow beans though.

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