How far can a gray squirrel jump?

If you google that question, you’ll find that gray squirrels can jump at least 4 feet straight up in the air, and at least 9 feet horizontally.  I’ve had a peanut feeder hanging in the buckeye tree about 7 feet from the trunk of the tree all winter, and just today a gray squirrel finally figured out how to get to the feeder. (Shot through the window looking into the afternoon sun with a terrible reflection.)

Gray squirrel jumping to a peanut feeder

This is a composite of two attempts wth the same flight path.  My camera could only capture two images per jump.  Note how this trajectory gets the squirrel to the feeder instead of colliding with the protective dome.  Click on the image to enlarge it to full screen.

Gray squirrel jumping to a peanut feeder

But this is where this particular leap took the squirrel before I scared it off.

The momentum of the landing creates a violent swing in the feeder, which can dislodge the squirrel that might be just hanging on with its toes.

Gray squirrel jumping to a peanut feeder

This might be categorized hanging on by your (toe)nails.

After several failed attempts involving collisions with the plastic dome over the feeder,

Gray squirrel jumping to a peanut feeder

Misjudged the landing on this attempt…

the squirrel successfully launched itself from just the right height on the tree trunk, with just the right trajectory arc, to land most of its body on the side of the feeder.

Athletic and smart, that’s the gray squirrel key to success.

11 thoughts on “How far can a gray squirrel jump?

  1. Hey Sue- Love your multiple exposures and the technical detail you include. Also your crane silhouettes were wall-hanging worthy! Terry

    • The funny thing is, just this one squirrel kept trying over and over. All the other squirrels just watched from ground level. Thanks for your comment!

  2. Your postings are being enjoyed from from Roseville to Mason Wisconsin ( nr .Lk.Superior), Thank you for brightening our days!!!

  3. When I lived in town, a small squirrel of unknown species decided that he wanted to live in the guest room. I could not find out how he kept getting it! None of the trees hung over the house, and I do not believe that he was climbing the stucco. I would put him outside, and he would give me that sad look, and just be right back in the morning. Eventually, he moved on.

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