|University of California|
Los Angeles (UCLA)
||Report for this school last updated: 5/12/02|
Gray Squirrels are
fairly common at UCLA. They can often be found around the trees near the
Janss steps. Some of them look underfed and mangy, however. In general
there is a shortage of squirrel-friendly trees on this campus. Most of
the students seem to have very little interest in their "squirrel
Mark Chen reports, with a dissenting view:
"I must say that while the rating itself for UCLA can either be a three or a four, the explanation is
absolutely horrific. First of, our crazy gray friends can be found everywhere, quite literally, where a tree exists,
from Janss to south campus to far north and even in the dorm area, where there is a good amount of woodland for
them to visit. While we may not have massive numbers of trees by Janss, you failed to mention Dickson plaza, which
has some of the greatest trees around, and far north campus by the sculpture gardens, where we have
actually been chased from the area by some squirrels. The notion that "some of them look underfed and
mangy..." is absolutely ludicrous - I have never seen fatter squirrels in my life, and I come from a very squirrel
friendly area of Pennsylvania. In addition, continous close contact with humans have made these squirrels
very aggressive, especially those who populate the area around Janss steps. Aside from occasionally
getting scraps from the trash can, our squirrels will actually STEAL our Taco Bell when we're not looking. After a
rather harrowing experience, we learned to never ever again place our tacos on the ground. Even if our rating isn't
raised to 3 1/2 or 4 heads, our explanation should most certainly be changed."
And yet another revisionist view of UCLA critters, from David Lim:
"First, the squirrels you noted near Janss steps are generally the meanest, greediest squirrels on campus. That's because
due to their proximity to the "Campus Corner" eatery, they were spoiled for many years by students sitting on the grass
who would feed them. However, their mean-spiritedness led students to stop feeding them -- hence they now appear
mangy and skinny. When I was a student in the early 90's, the shift had started to stop feeding the Janss
Steps squirrels. Better, less domesticated squirrels can be found up at North Campus, particularly in the
outdoor Sculpure Garden behind Bunche Hall. There, the squirrels actually still forage for their food, and so are
cuter, more cautious, healthier, and generally more fun to watch. Plus, it's great to see two squirrels playing with each
other, chasing each other in and out of the various sculptures which dot the landscape!
Another choice place to watch squirrels on campus is in the wooded trees around Pauley Pavilion
(when the Bruins aren't playing basketball, of course). When I was a student, you'd often find squirrels just sitting on
the benches around the Pavilion, since not much happens in that part of the campus when games aren't being played.
Those squirrels were also less domesticated then the Janss squirrels, but would readily take a free peanut or french fry
from a person.
In any case, I hope you'll reconsider UCLA rating and upgrade it accordingly. Whatever you do, keep up the great job on your web page!"
|U.C. Berkeley||The absolute best place I've found for a
squirrel session. The lush landscaping supports lots of big fluffy Fox
Squirrels, and many of the students and visitors there seem to really
appreciate them! (see
Raton Rat Control | Animal Removal | Raccoon Trapper at this site)|
There has been some discussion about whether or not Stanford has better squirrels. See Stanford section below.
|Cal State Sacramento|| Has the same type of squirrels as Berkeley,
but somewhat fewer. Not as many large trees. The student population
appears generally pro-squirrel.|
|| I was a
student here for four years and never saw a single squirrel. Campus trees
are mostly Eucalyptus and other "exotic" stuff--worthless from a
very rare occasions you MIGHT see a squirrel here. There was a colony of
California Ground Squirrels near the humanities building, until they
|Huntington Library & Gardens (San Marino)
||This is a major research library, so it qualifies as "Academic." Lots of large, beautiful Coast Live Oaks make for lots of critters. The animals appear to be a mix of Fox and Gray squirrels. Squirrels are less "tame" here, but it's great to watch them
in a more natural setting for a change. The critters seem to be in
exceptionally good health, probably due to less junk food in their diet.
It looks like they individually hand-wash, groom and blow-dry each one
every morning. Considering what they charge to park and enter, I wouldn't
|Caltech (Pasadena)|| Their landscaping is like UCI's to some
extent. Not a good campus for squirrel sightings on the whole, although
the surrounding neighborhoods have lots of them. Near the Beckman
Institute there's a large Coast Oak where squirrels can be found.|
|C.S.U. Chico|| According to field observers Frank and Tara Argain, this
campus has a large number of trees. In addition, many of these trees are
oaks, which as we all know are very squirrel-friendly. This makes for a
great critter-to-student ratio (I've scientifically determined that the
optimum campus environment requires at least 1 squirrel per 28.3
||Field observer Christianne reports that there are lots of trees, bushes and friendly gray squirrels on the Northridge campus. According to her field report, the critters will approach people for food, but warns against trying to grab them (the squirrels, not the people). Always good advice for the squirrel watcher.|
|U.C. Santa Barbara||
||Field observer Louisa Dennis reports that squirrels are less common on campus now than in the past. However, there are ground squirrels living in the iceplant along the coastal bluffs. There is also a project underway where a partnership of departments, administrative offices, and students in the UCSB Habitat Restoration Club are working to restore and plant native plants on campus as alternatives to more traditional commercial landscaping. She reports that this has gotten a very positive response, which is heartening. Let's hope they plant some native California oak trees.|
||I'm told by more than one source that
this is a beautifully landscaped campus. Jackie, an incoming fall student
and campus squirrel field observer, mentions that she was surprised at the large
number of bushy-tailed critters. They are mainly down in the main, grassy, "Quad" area
of campus; but, she reports, you can also find them anywhere where there are lots
of large trees.|
Occidental College is also featured in a
Squirrel Removal | Rat Control In Jacksonville at this site.
+||The word is that Stanford has lots of
squirrels and lovely grounds for them, as well as woodpeckers, bluejays
and doves. There are large oaks and lots of wooded areas. There are also lots of black
squirrels, which cannot be found in many other parts of the bay area. This campus
really belongs to the squirrels! (Field report courtesy of Jill Johnston)
Here is some additional information about Stanford, from Michele Patin:
"Living near both of the above campuses, I can tell you that if Cal rates 5 Squirrels, there is no way that Stanford should
rate only 4. Stanford's founder (railroader, robber baron, and former governor of California, Leland Stanford, Sr.) endowed
the university with lands numbering in the tens of thousands of acres. Yes, that's tens of thousands of acres. Huge sections
of these lands are not accessible to people except, perhaps, for the occasional field biologist. We're talking rolling foothills
and more rugged coastal mountains where the only trails are made by deer or perhaps a few wild pigs. This land is adjacent
to the hundreds of acres known as the campus proper. I have read that Stanford University has by far the geographically
largest campus of any university in the world. (Conceivably there are schools with larger land endowments, but if so,
those lands are not part of, or adjacent to, the central campus, as they are in Stanford's case.)
Consequently, you can see that Stanford squirrels have the best of both worlds: They can hang out with, and be fed by,
people around the more central areas of the campus, while the purist squirrels can head for, or simply remain in, the remote
sections of land, totally undisturbed by humans. Add to this the fact that the Cal campus gets more fog, while the Stanford
campus enjoys a more temperate climate (the weather stats back this up). What more could any squirrel ask for?
Don't you think that Stanford's rating deserves to be upped to a 5? True, Stanford can't claim to have a squirrel as its
mascot, as does Mary Baldwin College. Stanford's mascot is a tree, the traditional and revered home of squirrels the
world over. (Specifically, it's a Coast Redwood tree.)"
An impressive review of Stanford's "squirrel resources." However the quality of the "squirrel session" you get must also be taken into
account, not simply how great the environment is over thousands of acres. At Berkeley, if you sit on the "squirrel log" you
will be approached by dozens of plump, cute, furry fox squirrels! Stanford is upgraded to a "4+" rating, but Cal (Berkeley) is still number one!
|College of William and Mary||
||This is the second-oldest college in the United States, and squirrels seem to appreciate history. According to field observer Jennifer, it is an excellent place to watch squirrels, with lots of old trees that are ideal for providing shelter. There is also good squirrel habitat in Colonial Williamsburg, which is right across the street (which hopefully the critters don't try to cross too often). The large number of tourists means that the squirrels have little fear of people and can be easily watched. Jennifer is studying squirrel feeding behavior as part of a project, and fortunately will not be giving them raw peanuts.|
||I've personally visited the campus at Brandeis, and it was in the evening, which should normally be a good time for a squirrel encounter. Around the trees near the "castle" I saw an occasional squirrel here and there, but not many. The ones I did see looked kind of skinny. On the streets surrounding the campus, people drive like maniacs, so a lot of critters might be getting squished. C'mon Brandeis, be nice to your squirrels!|
||Field observer Arianne Lozan reports that this is a great place for squirrels. There are lots of trees in the center of campus for them to live in. Also this is a friendly campus and, to her knowledge, no one has ever thought of trying to harm or discourage squirrels. Arianne is also doing a research project involving squirrel feeding behavior.|
||Our Ohio field observer Chris Lafferty reports: "This is the honest-to-golly truth: In the early 1800s, the board of trustees included a gentleman, to put it kindly, whose driveway didn't go all the way to the street. In an attempt to keep him busy, the other trustees suggested that the OU campus would benefit greatly from some picturesque wildlife and sent him to Harvard to trap some squirrels for import to Ohio U. He came back proudly with six pairs, which proved to be quite prolific! Ohio University (in Athens, in the Appalachian heartland) has oodles of squirrels on the College Green. When I was an undergraduate, campus character Nutsy would boldly demand a portion of whatever you were eating. This squirrel often popped in for unscheduled visits to Dr. Ping, the university president. One day she brought her six babies, who promptly turned Dr. Ping's desk into their own personal playground. The secretaries forbade him to shoo them out, so he learned to cope. Today's students still find the Green heavily populated with little furry 'wildlife professors,' whose Cambridge origins can still be detected in the broad "a" in their speech."
There is an opposing viewpoint from Doug Risher: "I must disagree with your rating for Ohio University. On my visits there
(my older daughter is an OU alum), the squirrels were stand-offish and would not approach a human even if offered peanuts.
They were nowhere near as people friendly as the squirrels at Penn State (younger daughter is a PSU alum, as am I).
In fact, on a visit to PSU in 1987, my older daughter was feeding the squirrels near the library. She did not find squirrels
as friendly in her 5 year tenure at OU."
||I'm told this institution is in New York State. Brian, a student there, reports that there are lots
of squirrels on campus, and that they can frequently be found getting discarded food from garbage cans and dumpsters. They must
throw away high-quality food at Clarkson, though, because the squirrels are reported to be very large and robust! Hey, squirrels are
creative and aggressive about finding food. If they weren't, they'd be an endangered species somewhere on a wilderness preserve and you'd never get to
see them in person! Besides dumpster-diving, Clarkson squirrels are also reportedly good at robbing campus food delivery trucks! They wait until the trucks are
unguarded, and then scamper off with various food items. I admire that!|
|East Carolina University||
||The Latin name for eastern gray squirrels, Sciurus carolinensis, literally means "Carolina Squirrel."
Early naturalists must have seen a lot of them there. The squirrely tradition continues
in Greenville, North Carolina, where this institution is located. Field observer Christie Martin, a freshman,
reports that squirrels are extremely plentiful here, numbering in the
hundreds at least, she estimates. In addition, they are all cute and healthy-looking, and like to
approach students for food.|
|University of Chicago||
||Chicago native Allan Levite informs me that the U of C has a large campus on the
South Side of the city, inhabited by gray squirrels, most of whom are
tame and eager to accept handouts. They are particularly adept at
raiding the wastebaskets. He saw one of them dragging off an entire
large slice of pizza that someone had tossed in an outdoor wastebasket
after taking two or three bites from it. Many of the gothic, graystone
campus buildings are vine-covered, and the squirrels can climb up these
easily if a dog should appear.
A new report has come in recently from this institution, courtesy of Monica:
"I think we deserve another squirrel face! Not only do we have tons of squirrels, but they're all very happy. There's even a little boy here who feeds them peanuts every afternoon. He's got them tamed so they stand on their hind legs and beg him for food.
Squirrels also get special priveleges here. There's lots of construction going on, and the construction people saw fit to put up 'Squirrel Crossing Only' signs. Lucky."
|New York University
||Field observer Richard Johnston reports that this is a good institution for
squirrel watching. They flourish in Washington Square Park and its environs. The author Grace Marmor Spruch, who has written a book about
squirrels called Squirrels at My
, lives a few blocks from NYU. There are bushy-tailed visitors to
her 5th-floor apartment all the time.|
|University of Texas at Austin
||Laura, an avid squirrel-watcher, reports a veritable plethora of friendly squirrels.
They seem to prefer the south mall area, but can be seen all over
campus. According to her, they have a Texas-sized appetite and a standard MO: scurrying up to students, stealing food bits out of unsuspecting
student hands, and climbing back into the tree branches above. They particularly seem to
enjoy bagels from Einstein's and french fries from Wendy's.
Another student named Dustin reports that there are many albino squirrels on this campus. He
is also the president of the Albino Squirrel
Preservation Society. It's good to see this level of student interest! This school is therefore
upgrated to a "4" level!
|University of Notre Dame
||Eric Mason, our Indiana student field observer, has seen a lot of squirrels in his time (he's lived next to a forest)
but states that there's no place like the Notre Dame campus for critters. The squirrels have become so tame that they will approach students for food.
Gee, this seems to be a common theme, doesn't it? Also according to Eric, it has been said that squirrels have it better in South Bend than the humans. Hmm, not sure
what to make of that. This is a prime region of the country for fox squirrels,
which are bigger, fluffier and tamer than gray squirrels. I have relatives in Indiana, and the first
time I visited I was astounded to see all these big orange squirrels scampering around!
|Kent State (Ohio)
||Report for this school last updated: 5/12/02
Jeff, a former student, considers Kent State a good location for squirrels. KSU has black squirrels. He reports that
after intense negotiations between
the US and Canadian governments (really) in the 60s (perhaps early 70s)
they imported black squirrels for some sort of study. They were freed
locally later, and now dominate the campus, and are starting to spread
throughout the county. They are beautiful little creatures. Finely
featured, not as large as the indigenous gray squirrels. Another observer, Susan, reports
that when she attended in the 1980s, They even had an annual Black Squirrel Festival with bands, food, etc.
Cal Frye, now a network administrator at Oberlin College, reports:
"I entered KSU back in 1974, and the campus was even then overrun with black squirrels.
The story the Bio dept then was telling was that a groundskeeper was taken with the black squirrels he had seen in
Ontario, and had brought a couple of pairs back and introduced them on campus. Perhaps they didn't want the
Biology folks to be held responsible. At any rate, until I left town last year (no, it didn't take that long to graduate,
but I did gather a couple of degrees on and off), the number of black squirrels has been steadily increasing, and
they have spread to several adjoining counties in addition to campus. They're about the same size as the local
gray squirrels, or a bit bigger, and seem to be somewhat more aggressive. They freely interbreed with the grays,
as well. And the Black Squirrel Festival continues. The local off-campus bookstore, DuBois, even sells a 15" plush toy
black squirrel. Many campus employees regularly feed the squirrels outside their office windows. Peanut butter
sandwiches are a favorite."
|Pennsylvania State University
(State College, PA)
||Our Pennsylvania field observer, who goes by the code name "scrappyo," reports: "The area around the Mall (between College Ave. and our library) contains
a dense population of some of the friendliest, perhaps most demanding squirrels on any college campus.
They run out in front of students suspected to be "carrying" and on several occasions jump on unsuspecting students who they believe are harboring treats.
I was sitting on a bike rack talking to some friends when one came up to me from behind and tapped my hand with his paw for a hand-out.
Several of the bolder individuals will crawl through your pockets, perch on your lap or shoulders while eating; I've found two which let me pet them."
Pennsylvania State University
I've personally visited this campus a number of times. It has undergone some major expansions and improvements
in recent years, and now offers 4-year programs. This is a good campus for a "squirrel session" as well.
Much of the campus is wooded, with healthy, mature trees. The best squirrel-feeding area seems to be
north of the reflecting pond, and there is an improved walking path and waterfall going through the woods. Many
squirrels will come down from the trees to see if you have food! It's good that the expansion of this campus didn't
involve cutting down any trees, or so it appears. There are also many ducks to feed.
|Princeton University (New Jersey)
|| "Scrappyo" has also done some field observation at this fine institution: "Most of them aren't as friendly as Penn States's squirrels, but they are EVERYWHERE and most of them will beg,
especially when the Univ. is on break and there are fewer potential feeders.
P.U. sports a sizable population of black squirrels, and many of the very young grey ones are pie-bald grey and golden-brown.
Some of the older vets by the ART Museum will crawl on you for handouts."
Another field observer who is a member of the University staff, Susan, reports: "Glad to see that
you made a note of the black (grey) squirrels for which we
are very proud, but haven't been able to perfect the accompanying orange
squirrel. I feed at least nine from my window ledge in the Physics
Building." She reports that the squirrels have entertained many. Also, a mother squirrel drops by twice
a day, and another critter, "Hiphop" comes now and then sporting his
|Daytona Beach Community College (Florida)
|| According to our expert field observer Andrew Watts, the squirrels that live here
are gray squirrels; there were more in 1997 than in 1998. One common individual critter is Patricia, who lives in front of the college library. They are tame and able to be hand fed. One, named Sylvia, used to let him pet her. Andrew seems to be the only one who takes an interest in the squirrels, and rarely sees anyone else feeding them. Hey DBCC, better start being more collegiate and feeding those critters! Show us you aren't a high school with ashtrays!
|Williams College (Mass.)
||Report for this school last updated: 5/12/02
According to Emily Thorson, our New England field observer, there is some major
squirrel action at Williams. In the quad near her dorm (the Berkshire Quad) you can
usually see seven or eight squirrels at any one time. There's one who when approached
will lift a paw and wave and nod his head at you! Emily has even had an "out of body"
squirrel session: "While napping one day I had the strangest dream that I woke up and
saw two squirrels actually scurrying around the dorm room. I tried to call my roomate
but I didn't have a voice because I just woke up. Luckily for me she came anyway and
picked up the squirrels. I was afraid they would bite, but she reassured me and gave
me the smaller one to hold. Then I woke up for real. It was a good dream."
Additional Information has come in from Paul Friedman:
"I would only like to add that there is/was a squirrel on campus called "Stumpy" due to his lack of a tail.
He is tame and will come to you when called by name, and take food out of your hand. The taming process was
started by an employee of the library who does not have hands (no joke). Also, I had a squirrel run across
my shoe and almost up leg in the frosh quad once."
|George Washington University (Washington D.C)
||Virginia Carper writes: "From time to time, I walk through the campus. There is a young black squirrel that
lives near the student union. The squirrel loves the berries on
the small bushes near the building. I have seen this squirrel eat
upside down on a frail berry bush. The landscape students maintain
a parklike atmosphere to the urban campus. However, the black
squirrel is the only squirrel I remember seeing." But I've got to give this institution at least a "2 critter" rating anyway, since DC is known to be the squirreliest city in America by far!
|Temple University (Philadelphia)
||Since Owen Phillip Langston started classes here, he's spent a lot of time observing the behavior of squirrels in Philadelphia. Though squirrels are rare beyond the grounds of the school, the large trees
that are scattered all over the campus are home to an incredibly dense
population of grey squirrels. The squirrels run the gamut from emaciated
to obese and from mangy to beautiful. In a sense, the squirrel mimics
the demographics of the denizens of the city. This sometimes hostile
environment (high-traffic, extreme weather conditions, pollution, lack
of natural habitat) has forced the Philadelphia squirrel to a new level
of resourcefulness. He reports seeing the inner-city squirrels do things that he hesitates to report out of fear of being disbelieved. He has even heard stories of squirrels waiting for
street lights to change before crossing the street. Though this story
is highly dubious, the lack of roadkill is worth
There seems to be a difference of opinion: Veteran field observer "Scrappyo" dissents from the "4 squirrel" rating:
"I disagree with Temple being given three stars. One my several visits there, the squirrels seemed disinclined to approach any people, although they have learned that we can throw food to them and wait for this to happen. I'd give Temple two stars at best."
Upon further consideration, and taking into account the veteran observer status of "Scrappyo," the rating is hereby reduced to a "3 squirrel" status.
|Bowling Green State University (Ohio)
||Our field observer in Ohio, Jonathan Valentine-Cooper, has been attending classes at Bowling Green State University for only one semester, but he's already located
the local squirrel headquarters - the University Seal and the
surrounding trees. He reports that one literally cannot look in that direction without
seeing at least one or two Eastern Grays. He has also seen a fox squirrel
or two there. Unfortunately, this bunch doesn't seem very trusting of
humans - they scamper up to the top of the nearest tree and observe
human antics from afar. However, he reports that there is an albino squirrel, which he will attempt to photograph, living in the trees just outside the College of Technology building.
|West Chester University (Pennsylvania)
||According to "Scrappyo", West Chester University sports perhaps
the most aloof squirrel population he's encountered. WCU dates back to the end of
the 19th century with plenty of oak and tulip trees. The student body does not seem
hostile towards the squirrels, but for some reason, in the ten years he has lived in
town only one squirrel has approached him for a handout. He reports that the squirrels
in his back yard are far more docile, and each year he usually gets one or more to eat
from his hand (The editors regret that they cannot classify the back yard as an
institution of higher learning). Our field observer may be somewhat biased toward this
institution when he writes that West Chester bucks the trend published three years ago
in the Journal of Irreproducible Results which hypothesized that "The quality of a college
or university is directly proportionate to the friendliness of its squirrel population."
|Millersville University (Millersville, PA)
||"Scrappyo," our tireless Pennsylvania field observer (why are they
called "field observers" if they watch squirrels, not fields?) gives this school a low rating.
He reports a sparse, unfriendly squirrel population. Several students have cute squirrel stories
(tapping on windows for handouts, riffling throurgh pockets for food, etc.) but these are
few and far between. He reports that the average squirrel here keeps his distance and he's
found only one which responded to him as a potential source of food - not coming close,
but taking a nut he threw to him at a distance. We should perhaps expect that smaller schools
will have a less friendly squirrel population, given the smaller number of students walking
But there is a difference of opinion! Jessie Jablonowski writes:
"I attended that school for two years, and have not come across any friendlier squirrels in my life!
I now attend Penn State University, University Park campus, and these
squirrels are no comparison to MU squirrels. PSU squirrels are friendly,
however, MU squirrels take the cake. I don't know where your observer did
his work, but if you go near the pond at Millersville, and sit on a bench, a
squirrel will greet you with his little chirp and if you respond, he might
jump in your lap for food, or even just a headpet. Those squirrels rock!
Sitting outside my door in nice weather, I have been approached by many
squirrels. All in all, I was very disappointed about MU's squirrel rating
of one, especially when PSU was awarded four."
After reconsidering, I have decided to upgrade this school to "3 squirrels."
|Elizabethtown College (Elizabethtown, PA)
||Our same Pennsylvania field observer is inclined to give this school a low squirrel
rating as well. It has more squirrels than Millersville, he reports, but only those around
the pond seem to have anything short of an aversion to people. None of the students he
interviewed found the squirrels at all friendly. Those at the pond don't come begging and
will only accept food thrown to them from a distance. I am using my editorial discretion to give
this school a higher rating, partly because they have the good sense to call themselves a College and not
|Mary Baldwin College (Staunton, VA)
This school is located in Virginia's historic Shenandoah Valley. Excellent critter country too! According to field
observer Chloe Nagel, a senior at Mary Baldwin College, this institution deserves a category all to itself. Campus squirrels are abundant
and revered! And, at Mary Baldwin, the squirrel has been elevated to the position of mascot! I've also had the pleasure of hearing from
Nicole Simmons, who is the Assistant Director of College Relations. She explained that the reason for the squirrel mascot, affectionately
known as Gladys, is due to Mary Julia Baldwin's family crest which has a squirrel represented on it. She recommends the following links:
|Northern Illinois University
||This Campus Report is courtesy of "Ranger Bob", who says he's an
actual park ranger! He goes to Northern Illinois University, and says that there are many squirrels on campus, which
can be seen running and playing throughout the day. Bob, a squirrel fan, can go outside with food and they
will sit on his shoe and let him pet them. He reports that his girlfriend is also pro-squirrel!
Another positive report has come in, from Jeanine Clark: "I agree with Ranger Bob!!!! Northern has the best squirrels! I am a current grad
student at NIU and I have had many encounters on that campus, but my favorite was a little plump guy who jumped up on my book while
I was reading by the pond. I have also had many shoe encounters. The NIU squirrels do not seem to be intimidated by students and
if you disrupt a squirrels path, they will just continue walking, even if it means right up and over your feet."
|University of Florida
||Our experienced field observer Andrew Watts makes
the following report: "I would like you to add University of Florida to your campus squirrel
listing. There are hundreds of these furry little guys on campus, and many
are tame. But only one squirrel, Browntail, will let me pet her. I like to
throw nuts to all of them and watch them nibble. UF is a big campus, and
there's even wooded areas that are part of the campus but the squirrels
there aren't as tame as the ones in parkish areas between buildings. There's
a Chemistry building called Leigh (pronounced Lee) where there's a center
courtyard, and I've seen a squirrel and a nest in there, wondering, 'how'd
the heck he get here?' I'm guessing the squirrels actually go through the
sewer system to get in because they don't go in the building. Anyway,
Browntail, who doesn't live near Leigh, is a very special friend of mine,
and she has definatly earned the right to be mentioned in the campus
listings as a UF squirrel. The squirrels here at UF are the gray squirrels. There might even be some
flying squirrels in the more wooded parts of campus."
|University of Colorado at Denver
||I'm pleased to announce the first campus squirrel report from this Rocky Mountain
state! Jane Fudge reports that this institution has a little park called Ninth Street Park, which is full of what she calls "panhandling fox squirrels."
She used to feed the UCD park squirrels almost every weekend it was decent enough to be outdoors. She also reports that the trees are quite old on that part of the campus,
mostly oaks and maples. There are quite a few mature conifers, Colorado Blue Spruces and some pines.
The newer trees are frequently hornbeams, an import that really hasn't had an easy time in dry, windy Denver. At least the critters are doing fine!
|University of Colorado at Boulder
||A different Colorado observer thinks that this school is the most squirrel
friendly campus around, and recommends the highest rating. The squirrels are very curious and "tame." It is very easy, according to our observer, to establish relationships with
individual animals. Our observer did in fact do this with several, and had a very close connection to one female that could be petted while she feasted on her favorite
food: sunflower seeds. Unfortunately, she passed away six months after our observer graduated, from old age. Field report courtesy of Franc.
|University of Oregon
||Franc also has done some squirrel field observation in the Pacific Northwest, and
reports that squirrels on this campus are HUGE, though not quite as friendly as their Boulder cousins. But they will while away a rainy afternoon with you, as long as you keep the food
This web site has been written about in the Daily Emerald, the campus newspaper at the University of Oregon! (The rating system has been standardized since then, so the U of O now gets a 4-squirrel rating.) Since then, more information
about the campus squirrels has come in:
Adam Thompson reports that "the squirrels are some of the most friendly creatures at the U of O,
rather more friendly than the fanatical stoned hippies. I have on many occassions shared a peice of bread
with a squirrel, the squirrel eating out of my hand. I have also given a squirrel an entire peice of bread which squirrel
held in his hands and munched on. The squirrels also have a sweet tooth and I have discovered that they like tootsie rolls
and enjoy munching on them. In fact I have come to discover that they like pretty much the same diet as the students.
Finally, the interest in squirrels at the U of O is top of the line: The Emerald has had at least two editions with
cover stories about the squirrel. The first was about an ongoing nut shortage that appears to be happening on campus
for the squirrels and the cover page had a picture of a squirrel. The story resulted in a discussion of the squirrels
status over a couple of weeks. Several other publications had squirrel stories after this, including one suggesting that
the squirrels were behind some campus riots and one about how the squirrels had taken over the Emerald offices.
The second article which was released in August, 2001 is about your web page and discusses the U of O's squirrel rating.
The U of O has a proven record for documenting and being concerned with the well-being of the campus squirrels."
Eastern Michigan University
||We have a new squirrelly field observer! Sarah Colby says that since arriving at this fine
institution, she has been in squirrel heaven! She feeds the campus squirrels peanuts every day. On a good day she'll see about 14 if she walks the perimeter of "the
park". The critters seem very friendly, and will usually approach within 8-10 feet. When she throws the peanuts they instantly run up to one and munch on it,
and some of the more timid ones will go up the nearest tree to eat. She thinks they are very domesticated because of all of the students walking
around. She has an idea for puttting up several squirrel feeders, and has even thought about trying to start a squirrel club on campus.
|University of Michigan
It's been a while since Samuel Press has been a student here, but I'm sure this place is just as squirrel-friendly. Mr. Press writes:
"In my day('76-'79) the University of Michigan Law Quad in Ann Arbor harbored a colony
of active friendly Gray Squirrels in elm trees. They taunted dogs and would crawl up your
leg to solicit donations. I envied their seemingly care-free
quality of life. A pen and Ink drawing of the Quad from October
1976 prominently features one of the little beasts
contemplating the Law Students."
Wayne State College
Nebraska is on the western edge of grey and fox squirrel territory (at least their historical range). Field observer Eddie Elfers, head of the
Humanities Division, reports that although there are fewer squirrels here than at the University of Texas at Austin, there are nonetheless a good number,
and they all seem in pretty good shape. He has no idea what species they are, but we can assume they're the reddish-grey variety of fox squirrel.
The squirrels are so ever-present, he reports, that the college radio station included them in the station slogan and logo.
||This is the first Canadian school to be listed. Our high-ranking field observer reports:
"Compared to any of the campuses listed, Queen's University is outstanding for squirrels. At this moment, as I look out my office window,
I see no fewer than six in the pine trees in my field of vision. The grey squirrels here come in two regular colours -- grey and black, besides we have a few mutant "palomino"
fellows running about. I don't think there is a trash container on campus that does not have a hole chewed in the plastic swing lid by some
squirrel who found that was the only way to get out. As it is now getting close to the mating season the campus rings with the sound of
squirrels in rut [maybe more than we wanted to know, J.G.]. But you don't even have to be a squirrel lover to come visit us."
Jeff Hoover, an alumnus of this college who now has a daughter attending, reports that this campus is Squirrel Heaven!
He reports: "With a bluff-top campus whose most notable native vegetation is burr oak trees (a nearby village and onetime home of
Laura Ingalls Wilder is actually called Burr Oak!), it is no surprise that the Eastern gray squirrel population is healthy and independent
of the whims of the 2500 co-existing students. It's a beautiful campus populated by friendly people, even more than the friendly
squirrels." What a nice description. My uncle lives in Iowa, and when I visit there, the people are indeed very friendly.
Ann Schmitt would like to nominate Bradley University for inclusion in the campus listings. Home to the fox squirrel, the Bradley campus
is host to a number of different people-approaching, nut-begging, and sometimes snack-insistent squirrel personalities. She reports that on several occassions, she has had to veer off a sidewalk in order
to avoid a squirrel with a little too much vigor in its approach. Although several faculty members feed the squirrels around
Bradley Hall, squirrel presence throughout the park-like campus is robust. Students often eat on benches spread across the
nicely shaded quad. In so doing, most students recognize that this means bringing enough food for sharing. She has also heard
that when considering a change in the Bradley sports mascot in the mid-1990's, the "fighting squirrels" came in second place in a
close race with the "bobcat." The bobcat was recently eliminated, without a named replacement. Ann hopes the inclusion of Bradley
in the squirrel listings here will give a boost to the fighting squirrel spirit that resides in so many at Bradley University.
Michigan State University
||Here's another fine Midwestern school, and our third campus report from
the great state of Michigan. MSU, as reported by Dave Hanna,
is set in a park-like campus of some 5,000 acres, and is the ultimate habitat for squirrels. Anytime he sets foot on
campus, he sees no less than a dozen squirrels, all scurrying about doing
their squirrel business. On the MSU campus he has seen something he's never seen anywhere else--
the elusive black squirrel. They are quite common all over campus, and they cause double-takes from
visitors who aren't used to seeing them.
Here's another report from the same school, courtesy of Dale Grover:
"As a student on and off since the early 80's at MSU, I'd
like to suggest an upgrade from the 3-squirrel rating
Michigan State University currently has. Several distinct
areas of campus offer excellent squirrel-watching
opportunities. The area north of Beaumont Tower is
generally quite lively, with frequent use made of ubiquitous
tree labels as eating perches. A second area is outside of
Wells Hall, next to the Red Cedar River, where the squirrels
still outnumber the soapbox preachers (a formidable number
at times). Several woodlots provide more natural squirrel
watching opportunities, including Baker Woodlot and Sanford
Natural Area; the latter is readily accessible to students
living in dorms along its edge. All in all, an excellent
campus for the squirrel-minded, and worthy of 4 rather bushy
University of Minnesota
(Twin Cities Campus)
For a campus in the heart of a metropolitan area, this school is reported to have quite the squirrel population.
For many, the squirrels have the power at this Big Ten University. They have no fear about approaching anyone
for fear or companionship and with the number of cars in and around campus are able to keep their numbers large in the
face of daily death. One squirrel in particular requires mention. This albino squirrel lives the
West Bank (of the Mississippi) and has been spotted regularly since 1997.
Although in winter his white coat is an asset, he has been able
to survive four summers without noticeable harm. He is reported to be a true survivor. (squirrel report
courtesy of Anne Fredrickson, Class of 2000, currently employed in the Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative
University of Louisville
Our Kentucky campus observer, Patricia Longfellow, reports that the main campus has
a family of albino squirrels. She also reports that the critters are quite friendly. "I used to sit on a
bench in a small courtyard with a bag of peanuts in the shell. Easy way to draw a crowd! On more than one
occasion, I felt the tug of tiny hands trying to take peanuts out of my hand while I was rolling them to more
patient squirrels across from me."
Emporia State University
This is the first Campus Report from the state of Kansas, and it comes to
us courtesy of Jim Deane: "I'd like to put in a vote for at least three bushy
squirrels (rating) for my university, ESU. Being in east central Kansas, we have
predominantly the red common squirrels [fox squirrels] that populate Kansas and
Missouri, with an occasional grey. Grey's seem to be much more common in Missouri.
They are friendly, adapted to campus, and fun to watch as they chase each other around,
climb trees, and sit to watch the humans." Any campus with lots of fox squirrels
is a winner for me, as it reminds me of my time up in Berkeley watching and feeding
that very same species of critter!
West Virginia University
Most people think of West Virginia as having lots of trees and wildlife. However, based on
the campus report by Darin Sellers, this institution of higher learning is not very representative of the state. Darin has been
attending this school for three years, and has seen almost no squirrels at all. He believes the campus is far from squirrel-friendly in its attempts to eliminate any areas of
green across campus. There used to be a small area on the upper campus with small ponds where large schools of
goldfish once resided. He reports that these ponds were also surrounded by trees which he assumes dated far back in
the university's history. These areas have since been bulldozed and filled in for a wonderful acre of pavement for the new
Recreation Center. The other green area on the downtown campus has since been plowed as well for the new library
addition. Adding to a library is a worthwhile project, but certainly not at the expense of squirrels! So, he is sad to report that
despite the wild and wonderful theme this state has going, it's university is anything but
University of Maryland
This campus is a pro-squirrel environment with lots of trees and big open spaces. The critters do, however, have to be wary of
traffic, and while they are abundant in numbers, they don't have very outgoing personalities. They are definitely more
concerned with foraging than making friends. Campus report courtesy of co-observers Michelle and Maggie.
(North Bronx, New York)
Now we can probably all think of clever jokes about what kind of campus report would come from
the Bronx in New York. However, I have just been informed that Fordham is actually a nice location for squirrels.
Dr. Daniel J. Sullivan at this school's Department of Biological Sciences reports that Fordham (Rose
Hill campus in the North Bronx) needs to be listed here among the honored, squirrely institutions. This lovely 85-acre
campus is across the street from the famous New York Botanical Garden. He reports that there are enough squirrels to at
least be in the "three star" category -- and they also include the black morph (a gray squirrel with all-black fur).
This report has an interesting twist to it. Our campus observer Michael Spires now has a position
in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Northern Illinois University. This school is featured in another
campus report, and our observer thinks that NIU should have a lower rating than his old Alma Mater, Knox College.
"While NIU does have a nice wooded area near the East Lagoon (conveniently situated next to an arboretum which
the Department of Biological Sciences uses for botanical research), the rest of the campus is relatively treeless." He reports
that the area was badly hit by Dutch Elm disease around the time he was born, and the area around campus seems to
have been among the areas hit hardest; a condition not helped by construction and development over the last thirty years.
He does not usually see squirrels around most of the NIU campus. Knox, on the other hand, has plenty
of trees all over the campus, and you can't walk anywhere--particularly in the fall, when the critters start storing up
acorns for the winter--without seeing half a dozen squirrels. When he was an undergrad they used to laugh at the squirrel
antics taking place all around.
The state of Illinois seems to be a good region for critter-watching. Jeanine Clark reports: "I did my undergrad at Aurora University and they have some very plump critters.
I believe the main group is Fox squirrels and I can tell you that when they start chasing each other through the large trees
that surround the campus, many students stop and laugh as these little creatures zip around. I even caught one student feeding
a squirrel ice cream, vanilla of course."
Pacific Lutheran University
PLU has an abundant and exceedingly healthy squirrel population, according to
Laura Gifford, Class of 2000. "I walk down a flight of stairs in a wooded portion of campus
every day on my way to and from work, and in addition to the two or three
squirrels visible on either side of the path, more can be heard
scurrying about in the underbrush. One patch of trees on campus, in
particular, must have some kind of particularly squirrel-friendly
quality, because entire flocks of squirrels congregate in the area at
any one time. Every spring, campus residents enjoy watching squirrel
moms and their offspring parade around campus. In addition to feasting
on campus vegetation, PLU's squirrels can often be heard clunking around
in campus garbage cans, foraging for food. Campus residents are
sometimes amused by startled visitors, who jump when a local squirrel
propels itself out of a nearby can with a giant "bang" against its metal
Manatee Community College
An anonymous field observer reports: "Manatee Community College actually has white squirrels
that are very tame and will eat out of your hand." Normally a more detailed campus report is required for listing here, but since there
are tame (and unusual) albino squirrels, the school merits at least a minimal mention.
University of Illinois
at Urbana Champaign
Vicki L Jones, who is an accounting supervisor at the Benefits Center, reports that the University of Illinois
at Urbana-Champaign should get a high ranking. She reports:
"I personally feed the squirrels around my office
building everyday. We have some of the cutest, fattest, most spoiled squirrels that I know. I feed them peanuts
in the shell and they seem to like them very much. I have squirrels come and see me every day for nuts. I walk
through a big, grassy yard on my way to my bus stop and can feed as many as 8 at a time. Our squirrels are
very friendly and know what it sounds like when I put my hand in a plastic bag. They have nests built all over campus."
"Our squirrels are very smart. They will cross the busy street in front of my office building avoiding all the big buses
and fast moving cars and then come back again for more nuts. I look forward to feeding them every day. On Fridays
I put extra peanuts down to hold them over for Saturday and Sunday."
This campus observer is a true fan of bushy-tailed critters!
I am also pleased to report that the Campus Squirrel Listings page at Jon's World o'
Squirrels has been mentioned in the campus newspaper, the Daily Illini. The article can be
found online HERE.
courtesy of Don Appleman)
United States Naval Academy
Another top-rated institution! Rus Berlin reports: "Perhaps your readership is not aware of the squirrel
community that resides inside the gates at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Though
I am not a recent graduate (1991), I am sure that the pleasantries
and exchanges between Midshipman and Squirrel still continue on a
daily basis throughout the sheltered confines of 'the Yard.' Pro-squirrel would be an
understatement for the USNA campus. After 156
years of Federal Government protection, you've got to expect that these
squirrels know they've got a good thing going. They run the parade grounds,
and the athletic fields, but most often they're frolicking in the central
yard, in front of the chapel walk where they can entertain tourists and
students alike. Shy is not a word that would be used when describing these
federal squirrels. My favorite urban legend was the story of the squirrels
dropping from the trees into a pack of hurried Mids traveling between
classes - until I actually saw one clutzy varmint miss a limb and come
crashing down onto an upperclassmen right in front of me. That squirrel was
pretty stunned, I'm sure, but not quite as much as the rest of us who were
unwitting participants. I'm not sure of the type of squirrel, perhaps red
or grey, but for most of us Midshipmen, these fat, furry little critters
were just pure entertainment and a reminder that life isn't all that
serious. However, I can state one thing for sure, that in their hearts,
these squirrels are Blue and Gold all the way, and if you listen closely
you'll hear them chatter 'Beat Army!'"
University of Wyoming
Suzie, our Wyoming squirrel-watcher, reports that the campus is heavily populated with fox squirrels, and
they are very much protected and pampered. Many staff members as well
as students feed the squirrels and they have become quite tame, even
climbing in office windows if they run out of sunflower seeds. She also reports that they
have also been known to climb on people's bikes and follow certain
individuals around campus. There are plenty of trees around campus for
them to climb if a dog appears and they even have wooden boxes placed
around campus for their nests. One day she watched as several members of
the Physical Plant crew spent almost an hour rescuing a squirrel that
had fallen into a window well and could not get out. Suzie "couldn't imagine life without their beauty and
Report for this school last updated: January 14, 2003
Expert campus squirrel observer Susan reports that the critters
here act like they know they're at a prestigious school. She's
often interacted with the ones in the area known as Old Campus. She reports
that this area is a huge expanse with lots of trees, and lots of students who feed them. Most
of the squirrels are VERY friendly and spoiled. Susan reports that they had it
rough for a while when a lecturer let his dog go after them and it killed
a few, but people complained about this and things seem better
now (and any time one of the pro-critter people sees this dog running loose,
they contact the police). She also says they are getting VERY spoiled by "Yours Truly's
presence." "They gallop up to me when I sit on my usual bench on campus.
They eat right out of my hand. A construction guy actually said- 'How
do you get them to DO that?' They even let me touch them. Especially
the ones with red on them (red fur, black noses). These are the
FRIENDLIEST squirrels. Grays are a little more skittish. One red one
jumps on my lap!"
A new report has come in from Adele:
"It is true, the critters are very abundant and very spoiled. So spoiled, in fact, that they think it quite appropriate
to come into our rooms! In the fall, when we left our windows open for circulation, we would frequently come
back to our 4th story suite to find a couple helping themselves to our food. And it didn't stop at snacks: I also
witnessed one taking yarn, cloth, and even my orthodontic retainer (!), from my room as house warming gifts for
their new nest, I presume. Anyway, wanted to update you that at Yale, they are not only well-spoiled outside,
but they get the comfort and benefits of the freshmen's suites as well! "
University of Iowa
Joseph Bauer reports:
"What, are you kidding? This is Iowa. Gray squirrels and brown squirrels
are everywhere. The University of Iowa was the first state-supported
institution of higher education to admit squirrels on an equal basis
with humans. They now constitute about 8 percent of the student body,
and that figure is probably underreported because squirrels don't really
like to get special recognition. They tend to keep their minds on their
work, and they usually scurry when you approach them. They also have to
fight the stigma placed on them by the "townie" squirrels, which are far
more numerous and always itching for a good scrap. Not to mention the
ground squirrels, noisy little bastards who chirp at them on their way
to class. The media tend to focus on the squirrels in Ann Arbor,
Columbus, State College and Evanston, but that's just because they are
in bigger markets. Here in Iowa City we know that the squirrels here
have a the highest graduation rate in the Big Ten and finish
consistently higher in most of the squirrel polls."
Washington State University
||Washington State is known for beautiful forests, and is home to many
bushy-tailed critters. This is true for the campus scene as well. Our observer here reports
a huge tame squirrel population, and he currrently feeds about five squirrels
regularly from the porch at his fraternity. (Field report is courtesy of Samuel Ali)
This is the second campus squirrel report from Canada. Lorraine
informs me that the squirrels at this institution are mostly black, with the odd grey one here and there.
Unfortunately she remembers seeing them with hairless patches, probably due to mange or another
parasite. However York U has lots of trees and a couple of woodlots for the
squirrels to hide in, and one critter at the Founders College residence
became tame enough to beg for food.
Laura Miller reports:
"Vanderbilt's campus is a national arboretum, and our
squirrels are fat and merry. They enjoy mild winters and _lots_ of nuts,
although they also like to investigate the trashbins. They are comfortable
around people but not foolish; they are wisely wary but not aggressive.
Their only predator is a hawk who has found his way onto campus.
Vanderbilt's campus is urban, and is surrounded by busy streets, but the
campus is large enough to furnish sufficient sanctuary for squirrels (why
even _try_ to cross the street?). I have been walking up to campus for
seven years now, and in all my years of foot travel around the campus area I
have never seen one traffic casualty. Viva Vanderbilt! Please consider
adding us to your list. Does it help that acorns adorn our insignia, and
that a _hundreds_-of-years old Overcup Oak Tree is the centerpiece of our
It definitely helps! And this school deserves a high rating!
It is a great honor to include a campus report from the author Grace Marmor Spruch, author of Squirrels at My
Window and other squirrel-related books. She reports that the squirrels at this campus are skittish. "They get their food
from several oak trees on campus rather than from students. When I gathered a few acorns to take to my New York City acorn-deprived
squirrels, I got a dirty look from a little guy watching me from a branch."
College of Wooster
||An Ohio squirrel-watcher observes: "Looking at the rankings of the other colleges with squirrels, I would have to say that the College of Wooster
is in the top ten. We have all kinds of squirrels: brown, black, grey, you name it. The campus is full of trees, bushes,
and everything else squirrels love. Needless to say, there are squirrels everywhere. Some of them quite daring and
friendly, so getting close to them is no problem at all. All kinds of squirrels, and lots of them all over, that's a recipe
for the top ten."
Missouri Western State College
Christy Zimmerman reports: "I must admit that I'm not a squirrel researcher, but I think Missouri
Western State College deserves mention on your Campus Squirrels web
page. Not only do we have red squirrels and grey squirrels, but we also
have ground squirrels. The ground squirrels are seen more often by
faculty and students and have the dubious status of "unofficial
mascot". Most of the tree squirrels are anti-social and keep to
themselves in trees by the creek."
Clemson University, as reported by a field observer from the heart of Dixie, is nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains
and surrounded by one of the most beautiful campuses in North America. The squirrel population
renowned for their physical size as well as their sheer numbers. It is reported that they are brave souls, seen frequently
around the fraternity dorms snacking on those delicacies left by the human inhabitants. Clemson is
definitely a three squirrel campus, according to our observer, and very well may deserve honorable mention to boot.
Florida State University
There's no detailed report about the overall squirrel situation from this institution at present,
but the following incident has been reported by Alexis, a visitor to this school: "I was
visiting my friend at Florida State University, and we were walking back from lunch at the student union
along a shady path, just chatting together. Suddenly, I felt this enormous weight on my head and I couldn't see.
In 2 seconds, it was gone. I was stunned, and as I looked around, I saw a squirrel scampering up a nearby tree.
My friend saw the whole thing. This squirrel had been running around in the branches, slipped, and fell off, right
onto my head! I kid you not, it was the weirdest (and funniest) experience of my life."
Johns Hopkins University
Jessica reports that she's a huge fan of the squirrels here. "I've always found them to be quite friendly. I've been permitted to pet several tails,
and have even engaged in a 5-minute staring match with a brown squirrel. The squirrels here are massive, too...
some are the size of rabbits. It's unreal, considering the school is right in the heart of Baltimore. We do have one
issue with our squirrels... they do like to beg. They've even been known to accost people on the quad, offering to do
homework, then backing out of the deal by admitting that they can't even hold a pencil. Ok, so maybe I'm exaggerating
on the homework bit, but I wouldn't put it past them to figure out eventually... they're quite smart, and very friendly.
Some have taken to hiding with all of the construction and renovations on campus lately, but the braver ones are
certainly out in force."
Normally our veteran observer "Scrappyo" does the reports for small Pennsylvania colleges,
but this brief report is courtesy of Chuck Johnston. He reports that he would highly recommend adding Susquehanna to
the listings as they have a great squirrel population, despite being such a small school.
Another campus report has come in from this institution. Aaron Greenfield reports: "I am a student at Susquehanna University. Quite frankly as I was gazing upon
your website I was appalled by the fact that our campus was only given a 3-squirrel rating. As I stroll about campus, I am
surrounded by squirrels and all of their magnificence. I truly believe that our beautiful campus and
high squirrel population entitles us to a 4 squirrel rating if not a 5. I seriously hope that you will consider my plea and adjust your website
The reports from this campus keep coming in:
(from Christine Kershner) "I was very unhappy when I found
out that SU only had a squirrel rating of three. I think we should have a
higher rating. The SU squirrels are friendly and they are everywhere. You
cannot walk anywhere in campus without seeing at least a handful of
squirrels if not more."
(from Charlotte Hughes) "Being a freshman here at susqehanna, I have taken the time in my new
surroundings to get to know our squirrel population. After visiting your
site, I feel that we were cheated, and you should raise our rating. Not only
are we in the middle of nowhere with more squirrels then students, they have
taken a liking to us, and we cohabitat wonderfully. So please take my plea
(from Mike Binger) "I am in agreement with my good friend Aaron...our tiny university is overrun
with the little gray fluffs of heaven. In fact, on a popular SU T-shirt
listing the top ten reasons to attend Susquehanna, one of the listings is
"Where the squirrels outnumber the students." I think the 100 Square yard
density of squirrels would be scary if calculated. I am afraid they make
take over. We certainly deserve a rating of at least 4. I am continuously
trying to start a study group with the squirrels outside of my
window...alas, i cannot get them to speak..."
(From Chris Stahl) "As I was perusing your website, I could not help but notice some of my fellow students
begging you to give us a four squirrel rating at least. As I walk around our beautiful campus I cannot help but notice
the abundance of squirrels we have running about. In fact, today I was sitting outside reading for one of my classes
and in a matter of 5 minutes, 5 different squirrels strolled past my feet. If that doesn't merit a 4 squirrel rating, I do not
know what does. I would highly appreciate you taking my plea to heart and granting us our 4 rating. Perhaps even a five.
If you feel necessary, please send someone to come visit out campus. Once they arrive, they will see for themselves that
SU is indeed densely populated with squirrels and it deserves the recognition."
No institution has ever supplied this many campus squirrel reports! Therefore, in recognition of
the profound squirrelly awareness demonstrated by the students here, the rating is hereby increased
to "5 squirrels," a rating reserved only for campuses where the squirrel gods play. Congratulations
to Susquehanna University!
Jim Nendel reports: "I am an alum and former employee of Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington. We at
Whitworth have a strong group of squirrels. They are a bit spoiled as they get fed at the administration
building regularly, but nonetheless they bring a wonderful ambiance to a
campus filled with Ponderosa pine trees and a variety of other evergreen and
deciduous trees. At Whitworth the squrrels also have the added amenities of a
natural "back 40" to romp around in and enjoy. This area is a more native
environment for the area and so gives the squirrels a choice to either get back
to nature a bit or go to the luxurious confines of the more landscaped part
of campus. I do remember a squirrel in a photo in
one of the campus viewbooks a few years back, so these squirrels do have some
celebrity status on campus.
Wake Forest University
Field observer Michael Boger, a student here, has found a spot with squirrels that will let you get within a couple of yards,
until they run up one of the VERY plentiful trees. This is after being a student for only 3 weeks! The only possible problem, he
reports, is that the wonderful surroundings have also attracted a couple of wild cats, but they seem to be fairly small, and
no squirrel is ever very far from a tree.
Kansas State University
||Teresa Huffman reports: "Although I've graduated from KSU and gone on to grad school at squirrel-friendly Notre Dame,
I need to put in a good word for KSU. It's not just that they have friendly, pretty squirrels all over the
central part of campus, which they do. (They also have prime squirrel country in the Quinlan natural area, a little
bit of wooded creekbed that runs past some of the dorms and is a great little break in the green lawns).
What makes them worthy of special notice is the Kstate Collegian, which has a tradition of making a special
squirrel issue at the end of every semester. I don't know how long they have been doing this; I think they did it all
four years that I was there. What they do is simply post big pictures of campus squirrels all over the last
newspaper of the semester, with occosional silly comments about squirrel life. Some of their columnists have been
known to ramble about squirrels, too."
California State University
I've visited this campus a number of times, and unfortunately I haven't seen a single squirrel.
This might be because the school does not have many squirrel-friendly trees on campus.
Sarah Lawrence College
Our squirrel observer from the Empire State is Sherry Kuroda, who reports that this
institution, which she attends, is "this libby artsy fartsy college in Bronxville, NY, 15 miles outside of Manhattan, which of course
makes us 'upstate.'" She reports that this is a great college for squirrel-watching, and that the school even sells a t-shirt
featuring the critters. The slogan is: "Sarah Lawrence College: Where event he squirrels wear black." This is in reference to
the large number of black squirrels that are visible. She also reports that the are very talented, "racing each other on powerlines,
performing in musical theater, etc."
Will Wotring reports: "I am a freshman at York College of PA and
feel that the squirrels on site are definitely deserving of a mention
in your list. They are reasonably friendly and will sometimes
approach students, my neighbor acrosse the hall nearly caught one
yesterday and one of my lacrosse teammates and his roommates actually
have a pet squirrel in their house off campus. Despite the small
size of my college, the squirrels need their recognition. For every
day that they are not on your list, I see another sad squirrel on my
way to class."
(Upstate New York)
The state of New York must be prime squirrel country, because we have another report
from that area: "I attended Cornell University and I, as well as many of my fellow alums,
can profess to the quality and quantity of squirrels at this institution of
higher learning. Being located in-the-middle-of-nowhere-upstate-NY,
blessed by a multitude of tress and a great Vet school, squirrels thrive in
healthy abundance. Not only are there many squirrels, but their
size...Jenny Craig could set up a diet center for squirrels at Cornell and
make a killing. If I was a squirrel and needed to get a nut, I would live in Ithaca, NY and
attend Cornell University, where the trees are plenty and the food is even
Chris attends this fine institution, and submits the following report: "Well it just so happens that I believe that my school ranks among the top,
not in terms of sheer numbers but more of squirrel population density. We have a small, beautiful, campus; a lush natural environment, FULL of trees.
And it just so happens that we seem to have a great percentage of chestnut trees. Yes, squirrels love chestnuts, and
squirrels love this campus. The squirrels seem very content with us invading their environment each and every day.
At close range, even if they are one foot away from us, they will go about their business regardless of our presence. I'm
surprised I haven't stepped on any yet.. There are many paths to take on our way to class that plots us underneath
the foliage of many of these chestnut trees. I've heard of many incidents of people getting hit in the head by the spiky
exteriors of the chestnuts. I am one of the lucky ones, I avoided this without incident approximately four times as chestnuts
would drop and smash to the ground a few inches near me as I was walking. Some insist that the squirrels are evil, but I try
to convince them that they have to crack them open somehow. I believe the Lehigh squirrels are an intregal part of this
campus, and therefore I rate our school a whopping 5 squirrels." Any campus with lots of chestnut trees deserves a high rating! (although
they might be horse-chestnuts due to the unfortunate chestnut blight early in the 20th century)
An anonymous observer sends us this report: "I have to say that I was very disappointed to see that there was not a squirrel rating for Boston College.
Squirrels have to be about the most friendly creature not to mention exciting and intriguing (you never know when
they are going to shake their bushy tail!). I have been pleasantly surprised to see that squirrels are abundant in this
terrain, and I have even gotten within one yard of a squirrel here in Boston. Yes, even I was quite amazed and a
bit overwhelmed (finally, I was up close!). Anyway, I think that your site is a masterful dedication to the Squirrel
Gods. I would know, because they talk to us here at Boston College."
A cousin of mine went to Boston College, but I never got a squirrel report from him!
From time to time we get reports from school administrators and faculty, and this is the case with
Ursinus College. Sally Widman, director of college communications, reports the following:
"Ursinus College, near Philadelphia, has a student population of 1,330,
and a squirrel population of, oh, probably 130,000, or at least it seems
that way. Squirrels are everywhere here, scampering through the ivy,
skittering over the sculptures (we have almost as many of them as
squirrels), tripping up tree trunks, hopping branch to branch, sitting
up on their haunches, eyeing passers by oh-so-cutely, with little
concern as they chow down, nonstop, dawn to dusk. Food supplies are
plentiful, not only from acorns dropping from the myriad oaks that line
the greensward (yes, we really do call our vast front lawn a
greensward.....) but also from the dumpsters and lovely black enameled
trash cans that dot this idyllic Philadelphia-area liberal arts college
campus. In fact, our squirrels are so special to us that our student
newspaper editors proclaimed them the college mascot last spring in the
April Fools issue of The Grizzly (OK, so it's named for the real mascot,
the bear.) Several honors students in biology have been running around
campus for the last two years, counting, tagging and observing them the
sweet little Sciurus carolinensis. One thing we know for sure about our
squirrels is that they are so well-fed, fat and sleek, that they don't
make much of an effort to run away when you approach them. They are
sluggish, happy little gluttons, because we treat them so well. Our
student squirrel experts have discovered that the squirrels across the
road on a nearby college property known as Hunsburger Woods are far
leaner, more alert, and run faster when you creep up on them. They are
not on the Squirrel Dole like the fair fat guys over on our side of the
This campus deserves a high rating indeed!
University of Massachusetts
This report is courtesy of David Falvey:
"I am a sophomore at the University of
Massachusetts-Amherst and l just wanted to say the squirrel scene out here is
UNREAL. There are so many squirrels out here it would make your head spin.
They have nests in the trees and it's not a surprise to see twenty at a time.
There's more of them than us. Also we have black squirrels here and that
causes quite a stir among the students: some think there is just one and it
has super-human powers."
Report for this school last updated: 5/12/02
A brief report from this school says that the squirrel scene is very impressive, and that the critters
are "always on the move." Also there are two famous campus critters named Boomer and
Spooky, according to the report. Until more detailed confirmation is received, a lower rating will suffice.
New reports have come in for Hope College! Squirrel observer Kate reports:
"I'm writting to confirm the report that the squirrel population at
Hope College is very impressive. There are massive amounts of squirrels all
over campus. There are lots of squirrels and they are very diverse in color
and size. Not only are there black, brown, and grey squirrels, there are
squirrels with one color body and a different color tail...for example: black
squirrels with grey tails. There are big fat squirrels and little skinny
squirrels. Because of this, I think our rating should be raised."
An additional report from Jenelle states:
"I just want to say that our squirrels here at Hope College are the
BEST. They are the most talented squirrels of any campus in America. We have
seen squirrels scaling walls, only to jump off them and then climb right back
on the brick wall. Our squirrels defy gravity with their talents in tree
climbing and power line walking. They run jump and climb everywhere, and
sometimes, in the midst of their excitement they might jump at your leg, making
you think that they are going
to latch onto it and take a big bite of flesh. Despite that minor detail,
they are talented, wall-scaling, cute, and fuzzy."
And then there is this unusual story:
"One blustery winter morning, the Hope College campus was covered with wanted
posters detailing the break-in of our President's house. Fortunately, an
eyewitness was present at the scene of the crime the night before, and was
able to provide public safety descriptions of the suspects. The wanted posters
placed around campus were complete with mugshots and descriptions of the
wanted criminal....the black bushy tails and pointy ears were a dead giveaway,
and led to the capture and arrest of one infamous black squirrel."
This institution has a great many field observers! Carrie, a student here, has provided the following factoids:
- 1. They hide in the garbage cans and jump out at you when you walk by.
- 2. They scale walls.
- 3. They climb up the trees and make noises like quacking ducks right outside
- 4. They broke into the President's house.
- 5. We have a place on campus called "Squirrel Hill"
- 6. There was a squirrel hanging from a noose off a sculpture outside of our
- 7. We put signs up around campus about the squirrels.
- 8. We have diverse squirrels with black bodies and brown tails.
- 9. We have squirrels funerals.
- 10. We steal lawn animals squirrels to keep in our rooms because we aren't
allowed to have pets in the dorms and we love the squirrels. Everyone wants a
- 11. It's our dorms mascot.
- 12. We saw a squirrel with a broken tail and wanted to bring it to the vets.
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Report for this school last updated: 5/12/02
According to Emilie, this campus has a great squirrel population. Most of the land is
dedicated to agriculture and forestry. So if you walk out to Poly Canyon, you are
gauranteed to spot a several squirrels in only a few minutes, she reports. While most of
the time you won't see squirrels on the part of campus filled with people and buildings, they
still are reported to have a thriving population.
Catholic University of America
Report for this school last updated: 5/12/02
Korina Adkins reports:
"I went to grad school at the Catholic University of America in
Washington, DC from 1994 to 1996. Since I was a grad student, and worked
full-time, I didn't spend a whole lot of time on campus. But one thing
that I found surprising was the great number of black squirrels on
campus. I never before seen a black squirrel, and they have tons!"
Also, any school in Washington, DC is in the squirreliest city in America, and deserves honorable mention just for that!
Report for this school last updated: 5/12/02
The squirrel population here is actually a lot better then you would think. The report from this school is that the only breed
around is the grey squirrel, but that they are VERY common. Students constantly have them run in front of them
when they are walking, and see them climbing up the trees. Also, it is reported that there is a mentally ill guy
who whistles at the squirrels all day and then feeds them. "I think he lives off of welfare and uses his
food stamps to buy nuts for the squirrels...how HARDCORE is that?" Field report courtesy of Jessica Schmidt.
Report for this school last updated: 5/12/02
The Campus Squirrel Listings is sometimes contacted by actual officials from colleges and universities. This
is the case with Rice. Terry Shepard, who is Vice President for Public Affairs, reports:
"Hey, any institution can claim to be squirrel heaven. But what evidence do they provide?
Some claim devotion to their squirrels? They probably have a photo of an old building on
the cover of their campus phone directories. On its, Rice features the noble squirrel!
Some schools named squirrels the college mascot? Rice named squirrels the national bird.
(See Rice Thresher, April 19, 2002.) Forget the skinny bodies and sparse tails of California
squirrels. Pass on the Midwest and Northeast squirrels, which spend much of the school year
in hibernation and the rest of it frantically storing up acorns. If you want BIG squirrels
year-round, come to Texas, and especially to Houston. Rice squirrels dine at leisure
through our warm winters, and spend the summer growing large and lush, like other tropical
life. Visit Rice and we are confident that you, an objective expert, will conclude that
there is no campus squirrellier than Rice's!"
Now that's what I call being a booster for your school! All in all, Rice deserves a major squirrel ranking!
Report for this school last updated: 5/12/02
"Here in Oberlin, we have a large city park which is adjacent to the College campus and downtown, called Tappan Square.
In the square and elsewhere around town can be seen representatives of our family of white (albino?) squirrels.
They're quite striking, and well habituated to human activities. We also enjoy fox and gray squirrels around campus,
but the white ones do stand out. I'm thinking of bringing up a few black ones from Kent...." Report courtesy of Cal Frye,
Network Administrator at Oberlin College.
University of Houston
Report for this school last updated: 5/12/02
Brad Thompson reports:
"The University of Houston is a island of wilderness in a sea of concrete and glass. The campus is quite forested,
compared to the rest of the city of Houston (which has the least amount of park acreage per capital in the US). There
are little brown dudes everywhere. At the end of the summer session they can get quite insistent when begging;
on more than one occasion I have seen a group of suburban girls being herded around by a hungry squirrel. There is a
large segment of the student body that intentionally feed the squirrels but most of their sustenance comes from
natural sources and the garbage can buffet. A couple of years ago there was a pair of semi-wild dogs living on
campus for a week. Some unfortunate witnessed one of these killing a squirrel for food. Needless to say, the dogs
were gone the next day. The campus newspaper honors the presence of our tree-rat brothers on the comics page, where
nearly every strip uses characters that are squirrels: squirrel-ninjas, squirrel-students, squirrel-squirrels, etc."
Colorado School of Mines
Report for this school last updated: 5/12/02
"While I did not always enjoy my 4.5 years at this engineering institution, I
did consistently take note of how large the squirrels were. They seemed rather
chunky and in healthy abundance. Perhaps the cafeteria food had special
squirrel fortifying nutrients. I don't know. No less, there were squirrels everywhere. I remember them on window ledges and
trees; they seemed fairly happy." Courtesy of Lee Becker
University of Wisconsin
Report for this school last updated: 5/14/02
Martha, who went to grad school here, reports that the rating should be "at least a 4."
She had a painting studio in a vine covered, dilapidated,
University-owned building. The squirrels would actually come
inside to look for peanuts if she had the windows open, she says. "I think the previous occupant of this 3rd floor studio had
taught them that this was possible. He had made it a habit
to put peanuts out on the balcony for them. They (one in
particular) would come inside if there were no peanuts out
there! Of course I continued this tradition."
University of Waterloo
Report for this school last updated: 5/12/02
Ryan, one of our Canadian observers, says that the campus has a very friendly squirrel population. In addition,
squirrels have been featured in a number of articles in the student newspaper, as the following links show:
- Top 10 reasons why squirrels
have invaded the UW campus
- The science of UW squirrels
Report for this school last updated: 11/5/02
This report comes from an genuine administrator, Heather Meeker, who is the
Director of Alumni Relations. Hiram College is a small private
liberal arts institution situated in Ohio's Western Reserve region, about 30 minutes from Kent State
University, according to Heather. She brings up the issue of black squirrels, which are also common at Kent State:
"Indeed, the black squirrels have ventured west and for many years,
they have been an abundant feature
on our campus. However, they are not necessarily the dominant squirrel here as they are at
Kent State...there are lots of gray squirrels and even some squirrels that appear to be hybrids! In recent
years, squirrels have been spotted with black bodies and reddish tales. These particular squirrels are
tremendously active and appear to be more territorial than the others!"
In addition, Heather writes: "As proof of Hiram's plentiful squirrel population, there is a Hiram Village resident who is concerned
enough to print out and post "squirrel crossing" signs where there is a great deal of traffic. This week, the
squirrel on the sign had a witch's hat on its head!
As Kent State has a three-squirrel rating...I think Hiram with it's rural, beautiful
setting (ideal for the squirrel population!) should also rate at that level. We may be smaller than Kent State,
but I would venture that our squirrel population percentage per square foot is equal!"
Indeed, this school deserves an even higher rating!
University of Oklahoma
Report for this school last updated: 11/5/02
Katie Pavona reports: "You walk outside and
they scatter into the trees, if they dont come up to you trying to share their lunch. They are always happy
playing tag with each other and running across the streets - most of the time I see it happening at crosswalks!
Whenever anyone is asked their favorite place on campus they always mention a park or bench outside so
they can spend time with the many squirrels. I've never seen an area more concentrated with squirrels,
especially ones as fun and nice as ours!"
Loyola Marymount University
Report for this school last updated: 11/5/02
Katy Reports: "I noticed in you article that there was no mention of Loyola Marymount
University. I would like for you to reconsider, for I have noticed that our campus seems to be
crawling with them. They jump out of bushes, trees, and the grass. They are not scared of us
(the LMU students). They seem to enjoy watching us jump as they jump out at us. If our school
doesn't have the most, then we sure have the most bizarre. Please come and view the campus and see for
A report from another student, this one anonymous, has come in: "After scanning your website regarding the
most squirrel-inhabited college campuses, I was surprised not to see my college on the list. I am a student
at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California and I have never seen so many squirrels in my life.
Yesterday I saw a guy hand feeding a squirrel. This seems so bizarre to me. I would greatly appreciate
you to add LMU to your list."
Squirrels are indeed becoming more common in the Los Angeles area! They must be discovering that you can bury nuts
all year round.
University of North Texas
Report for this school last updated: 11/5/02
This report comes not from an administrator, but from the president of an actual pro-squirrel organization on
campus, T. J. Zambrano: "Here at North Texas, we have a thriving squirrel population. They scamper about in
just about every
tree, with some having such a high-density that it is
not uncommon to see 10-12 squirrels all gathering nuts
simultaneously. This is quite a thing to see, their
little society working so well. Never do they fight or
argue over who gets what, they just all work toward
their common goal. Occasionally 2 will play a short
game of tag, indicating that they are all friends. We
even have a resident albino squirrel, and like the
University of Texas at Austin, we too have an Albino
Squirrel Preservation Society. Our university has natural
'wilderness' areas where the grass and other shrubbery
is never cut, thus providing a wonderful environment
for the squirrels to live. I believe that our school
should recieve a high rating."
An albino squirrel PLUS a pro-squirrel organization equals a high rating!
Report for this school last updated: January 14, 2003
Brian Grimm reports:
"The official mascot of Haverford College is the black squirrel, and it's no
wonder. Squirrels, gray and black alike, run roughshod over the bucolic Main
Line Philadelphia campus. They barge into dorms and classrooms, and students
even name the furry little creatures. The black squirrels are fiercely
territorial and tend to spend all their time in the same half-acre or so,
making it easy to come up with names like "Lloyd" and "Lloydette" (for the
long-time squirrel couple who resides on the lawn and in the trees near
Lloyd dormitory), "Barclay Shed" (for the one who lives near the bikeshed by
Barclay Hall) and "Chase Rear Entrance" (who spends most of his time near
the Chase administration building)."
"The black squirrels' forthrightness can be both endearing and
frightening. Endearing: when you get to feed them cheesesteak scraps,
chicken tenders and Sour Patch Kids by hand; frightening: when you wake up
in your dormroom one morning to find Lloyd perched inches from your bed,
leering at you from the desk. Haverford students, however, wouldn't trade
their mascots for the world. The sleek, athletic, cunning and animated
breed represents everything that 'Ford athletes do not. So, when a capacity
crowd of 70 fans packs the Walton Field bleachers and roots for the soccer
team to "Kill, Squirrels, Kill!", maybe it gives the Haverford goalie the
inspiration to defend his net ... much like a fierce black squirrel might
defend his territory from dim-witted, errant gray squirrels."
Report for this school last updated: January 14, 2003
This field report comes courtesy of Ashley, a student at Stetson.
"Oh, please, please add Stetson University in Deland, FL to the Campus Squirrel Listings!
There are tons of gray squirrels all over campus and a few red squirrels too. It's not uncommon to see
8 or 10 in one spot. You can find them burying acorns, hauling around magnolia seed pods, or
digging through the trash all day long. I have seen them eating cookies, pizza crusts, soft pretzels,
whole apples, and Doritos. They aren't particularly friendly, in fact they are sometimes rather violent.
They wait in the trees and when you walk under, hurl acorns at you. I swear they do it on
purpose, and it hurts! A squirrel also climbed in an open window into someone's room on
my hall last year, but thankfully ran back out a few minutes later. Stetson squirrels may be cute and
cuddly looking, but they have ulterior motives!"
Squirrels are highly destructive, chewing holes in roofs, chewing through wiring
and leaving smelly waste behind. What's more, because they are so crafty, they
can easily find new ways to get back into your house after they've been evicted.
Our Tampa squirrel removal rid your home of threats of fire, ceiling damage and
more, and can seal potential entryways, so these nuisances can't come back.
Tampa / Sarasota Squirrel Removal from attic.
Squirrels have adapted well to urban and suburban environments. They
frequently use homes and other buildings as nesting and breeding sites.
Squirrels become a nuisance for Atlanta area homeowners by taking up residence
in attics, walls, gutters and soffits. Squirrels instinctivley seek out safe den
sites to bear and raise young. This behavior commonly leads them to buildings
for shelterduring the fall and spring months.
Squirrels gain access to attics in several ways, usually by chewing into the
attic at the construction gap. They often find a small opening and will chew a
wider hole to gain access to the buildings interior. A squirrel will bring
nesting materials into the home, or use materials in the home for nesting
material (insulation, stored belongings, etc.) squirrels can gain entry to a
home fairly quitely and may not make much noise until they feel comfortable with
their surroundings. Once these animals become more comfortable they make quite a
bit of noise scurrying around and storing food.
Juvenile gray Sarasota squirrels may fall down a wall, get stuck and die,
creating a need for dead animal removal. However Tampa flying squirrels may
travel up and down walls to find a suitable nesting site, they are not actually
Squirrels may live in your attic year round but are especially active fall
through spring when the weather is cooler and babies are being raised. Your
attic is an excellent place to raise young, it protects the baby gray squirrels
from predators and the elements. If squirrels are present during this time of
year the adult females need to be checked to determine if they are nursing, if
they are the offspring should be located as part of the squirrel removal