This week on Wildlife Weekly, Jackie Edmunds stops by to discuss eastern gray squirrels — and what to do if you find them on the ground or injured in your backyard.
The squirrels only have babies twice a year during the summer months. The mother squirrels are pregnant for about 44 days and the newborns take 16 weeks to gain independence from their mother. The squirrels can be identified by their long tails and grayish, brown, and black color variations. At a week old, the squirrels are so small they can fit into the palm of your hand. Their fur starts to grow between 2-3 weeks of development and between 4-5 weeks they grow bushy tails and their eyes begin to open.
Most baby squirrels are injured by falling out of trees during bad wind storms. If you find a baby squirrel on the ground and it can’t make it up the tree, call your local wildlife rehabilitator. If the baby squirrel looks healthy, Jackie says the most important thing you can do is keep it warm. She recommends the following supplies: a warmed up rice pack, placing a warm water bottle next to the baby, and a heating pad. To make sure the baby squirrel gets back to its home, place the baby squirrel in a box with nesting materials and place it by the tree so that the mother squirrel can come pick it up and take it back to safe nesting.
If you have any questions regarding eastern gray squirrels, contact the Dane County Humane Society’s Wildlife Center at 608-287-3235.