Orphaned Baby Squirrels
About Baby Squirrels
A squirrel who is nearly full-sized, has a full and fluffy tail and can run, jump and climb is independent. However, if a juvenile squirrel continuously approaches and follows people, then mom is probably gone. In this case, you should contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator because the baby is very hungry and needs care.
There are a few cases where you might need to intervene:
- A baby squirrel falls from a nest
- A nest falls from a tree
- A felled tree contains an intact nest
- If the baby and/or their nest fell from the tree today, give the mother squirrel a chance to reclaim the young and relocate them to a new nest. If the baby is uninjured, leave it where it is, leave the area, keep people and pets away, and monitor it from a safe distance.
- If it’s chilly outside or the baby isn’t fully furred, place it in a shoebox or other small container with something warm underneath (like a hot water bottle). Be sure to place something soft (old towel, T shirt) between the baby and the heating device, or it could overheat. Do not cover it with anything or the mother might not be able to find it.
- If the babies are not retrieved by dusk, take these steps:
- Wearing thick gloves, gather the squirrel(s) and place them inside a thick, soft cloth, such as a cloth diaper or fleece scarf or hat.
- Place one of the following items beneath the cloth:
- a chemical hand warmer inside a sock,
- a hot water bottle (replace the hot water every 30 minutes) or
- a heating pad set on the lowest setting. (If the heating pad has no cover, put it inside two pillow cases so the babies don’t overheat.)
- If the baby squirrels are not sick or injured, place the baby squirrels, cloth and warmer inside a small cardboard box or carrier. Call a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.
Note! If the baby squirrels are injured, follow these instructions.