Squirrel Wildlife Rehabilitation

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Is This Squirrel Orphaned?




ATTENTIONThe information contained on this web page is not designed to take the place of a wildlife rehabilitator or a veterinarian BUT is designed to give you some guidance in what you can do to help the squirrel(s) you have found until you can reach a rehabilitator. If it is an injured adult, please take PRECAUTIONS so that you do not get bitten.

Eastern Grey Squirrel Information

Eastern grey squirrels eat a varied diet in the wild that consists of nuts, berries, corn, acorns, mushrooms, fruits, a few insects, buds, leaves, bark off of trees, and the sunflower seed that you put out for your birds. Squirrels can live up to 10 years in the wild if they do not fall prey to an enemy or cars.

The Eastern Grey Squirrel was adopted as the official State Mammal of North Carolina on July 1, 1969.

Squirrel Babies

If the grey squirrel reads the book, they are suppose to have approximately 2 litters per year. The first is in the spring and the second is around August. In the past few years rehabbers will tell you that this is not necessarily the case. Some squirrels have been known to have up to 3 litters in one year. Also, the time of year that they have them is not always the same.

The grey squirrels litters consist of 3-5 babies. A newborn squirrel is born pink and hairless. Within the first week, the skin appears to turn grey, that is the fur beginning to develop under the skin. Usually the first hair you see on them is their whiskers. The ears will open the third week of their life. Their eyes do not open until they are 5 weeks old. We have gotten in some babies that still had the umbilical cord attached and they opened their eyes exactly when they were 5 weeks old. Other species of squirrel may vary from this somewhat. The mother begins to wean her babies between 6-7 weeks of age, but will continue to nurse them until they are 10-12 weeks old. At this time they are pretty much on their own and will return to the nest for safety and to sleep.

Is This Squirrel Orphaned?

Squirrel nests are not only damaged by bad weather, but can also be damaged by other adult squirrels. Male squirrels will on occasion kill their own babies if they are given a chance. During this struggle, the babies may fall out of the nest. If the mother survives the attack, and given a little time she will try to retrieve her babies and carry them back to the nest if it is still intact. If this nest is not intact, she usually has a backup nest that she can carry them to. A mother squirrel will not take back a baby that has gotten cold. You can warm the baby in your hands or hold it close to your body and when it gets warm, you can place it at the base of the tree and leave the area, but try to keep watch from a distance for about an hour or so.

If the weather is cold, place the baby or babies in a box with some toweling and a hot water bottle. Make sure the hot water bottle is wrapped real well in a couple of layers of toweling so the babies do not get burned. The mother does not object to her babies smelling like humans, but she will not take them back if they are cold. If you feel more comfortable handling the babies, you may wear heavy gloves. Be careful with them as the little babies are fragile. If you have any cats or dogs that are loose, please put them up at this time to give the mother ample time to come and retrieve her babies. She will pick them up in her mouth and carry them back to the nest even if they look too large for her to carry. Usually when she hears her babies crying (which is real loud and if you ever hear it, you will never forget the sound) she will come and get them. If you wait for 1 to 2 hours and she has not come to get them, it is time for you to step in and take over for her. Do not assume there are only 1 or 2 babies, look around real well as they will crawl under leaves and straw to hide. Step carefully and look under everything for several feet around.

If the mother squirrel does not come back and get the babies, then it is time to send for the Emergency Care Information by sending a blank email to: Emergency Care Information and the information will be sent to you automatically. This information will tell you what you should and should NOT do until you get in touch with a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

Eastern Grey Squirrel Stabilization Instructions

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Squirrel Rehab Pages
{Locate A Wildlife Rehabilitator} {Is This Squirrel Orphaned?} {Stabilization} {Frequently Asked Questions}
{Squirrel Tales} {Results Of Improper Diet} {Metabolic Bone Disease} {Squirrel Fibroma}

Other Wildlife Pages
{My Opossum Page} {Squirrel/Bird Feeders} {Build A Squirrel Nesting Box} {Rehabilitation Permits}
{Suet Recipe} {Wildlife Links} {Wildlife Article} {Squirrel Wildlife Home Page}

Wildlife Photo Pages
{Southern Flying Squirrel} {Eastern Grey Squirrel} {Black Squirrel} {Northern Flying Squirrel}
{Inside A Squirrel Nest} {Euro Red Squirrel} {Weekly Squirrel Photos} {Squirrelys}
{Baby Pictures Index Page} {Stan Westfall Nature Photos}

Other Pages
{Jigsaw Puzzles/Other Fun Games} {Squirrel Greeting Cards}
{Nonda Surratt Memorial}

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