Squirrel Feeding 101 at the U of I

By Vanessa Herrera




Cats and dogs, move aside – there’s a new little furry friend in town.  If you have ever visited the North Quad on campus, you’ll notice how friendly the squirrels can be. Maybe they’re not actually friendly – they just want to use you to get food. Whatever the reasons, squirrels can come close to eating from your hand if you play your cards right.

Now the question is, how?  How do you gain the confidence to approach these furry little creatures? How do you find them? How do you earn their trust? That’s why you’re here. Follow this guide and you will find yourself surround by more squirrels than a Disney princess.




Step 1: Find food.


This is a very crucial step that will either make or break the experience. Be sure to get food that the squirrel will enjoy, such as peanuts or walnuts. Throughout my years of experience, I’ve noticed they’re very fond of fries and donuts from Joe’s Brewery.


Step 2: Go into the wilderness.


This step might be difficult for some, but sacrifices must be made. You will have to actually step out of the indoors into nature. Squirrels love to prance where there are trees and garbage cans. Be sure to look up high and down below.


Step 3: Lure in the squirrel.


The moment will come when you find the perfect squirrel and your eyes will lock. Be aware of your movements, because any sudden move will have this squirrel gone faster than your last Tinder date.

First you must gain their trust, which can be done by imitating squirrel noises. Whether squirrels believe you’re communicating with them or they know it’s a human failing at their squirrel language, it still grabs their attention. While continuing to produce the sound, slowly bring out the food and hold it out. The squirrel will slowly approach you from there.


Step 4: Make memories.


Congrats! You finally fed a squirrel. Use this moment to take selfies and add a video to your Snap story. Make everyone jelly of your new little friend.


Step 5: Say goodbye and give him your number.


As we know, all good things must come to an end. Let your furry new friend head home to their family as you head back to reality. But before you depart, get the courage to ask for their information so you can contact them again for another nature-y adventure.



*Image Sources:

Featured image taken from http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/

All other photographs courtesy of Vanessa Herrera

Video by Vanessa Herrera

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