why do squirrels make a crying noise

When first alarmed, a squirrel waves its tail. If the source of alarm continues, such as if a predator continues to approach, the squirrel makes warning calls. These calls tend to continue while the threat is present. The alarm cries warn other squirrels of danger and also communicate to the predator that the squirrel sees it. Lishak observed that cats give up stalking squirrels after this call because the squirrel's alert means the hunter has lost the advantage of surprise. A gray squirrel's "kuk" call changes to a "quaa" and becomes quieter once the threat moves out of the squirrel's sight.


Douglass squirrels and red squirrels produce a fast, repeated "tsik tsik tsik, chrrrrrrrr -- siew siew siew siew" noise when they're disturbed.
Just before noon, I rambled across the little patio/plaza area outside the 2nd floor of our building. It's a lovely, shaded, brick and grass area where smokers gather to pollute the air just outside the doors. But once you wade through the haze, it's a very pretty place to sit and enjoy a few moments respite, or just amble across and down the stairs to the street and the lunching options that await.


It was in this general direction I was headed when I heard The *screee* part being much like that of the cry of a hawk or falcon (or bird of that variety, you know the one, right? ) So I stopped and looked, first on the ground, because it had sounded kind of weak. Too loud to just be far away, but there was something definitely "off" about it.


Visions of a wounded bird on the ground plagued me, so I scoured the area, ear at the ready for any sound that might lead me in the right direction. There was nothing. But the sound was louder, so I said to myself, "Well, self, maybe it's in the tree and injured or in the sky directly above. " A quick glance at the sky revealed no circling birds, so I carefully inspected the branches of the tree just in front and above me. And locked eyes with a squirrel. "Hello," I offered with a smile, and continued scanning the branches.


But then movement and *chuckchuckchuck* *screee* snapped my gaze back to the squirrel, who was now engaged in much tail and fur fluffing and waggling of its head. I can only surmise that this noise was eminating from said squirrel. Can someone tell me if the little guy was ill or attempting to entice a girl squirrel or about to dine on human flesh or.? I looked on my way back, but he, and the noise, were suspiciously absent.

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