With all of this windy weather we are sure to get some baby squirrels who have fallen from the nest. Not to worry though! These babies are built to take a fall. If you find some baby squirrels on the ground here are a couple things you can do to reunite them with mom.
1. Identify its needs-
The first thing you want to do is make sure that you have a baby squirrel. You want to make sure you are giving mom her baby back and not trying to give her a baby bunny or any other little one you might find on the ground. Sometimes when they are really tiny, they are totally pink, their eyes are shut and you’re not sure what you’re looking at. The number one way I can tell a squirrel apart from any other baby mammal is it’s fingernails. All baby squirrels have black fingernails. Once you know what you have is a squirrel, move onto step 2.
2. KEEP THEM OUTSIDE-
It’s everyone’s instinct to bring these babies inside but the best way to reunite them is to let mom have a chance to get them. That being said you don’t want to leave them exposed to the elements. Find a small box and some nesting material or hand towels that they can sit in until mom is able to find them.
3. Get them warm
This is such a big one because if mom is going to find them she needs to be able to hear them crying. They won’t cry if they are cold. You must first be able to get them to a comfortable temperature for them to be animated enough to start calling for mom.
People have gotten very creative with this one but some of the most simple ways to warm them up is a rice sock. Just take an old sock fill it about half way up with the rice and put it in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until it is nice and toasty warm. Then wrap it in a hand towel and put it in the box with the baby squirrels. You will need to be checking the temperature every 30 minutes or so to make sure its not turning cold. Once it turns cold it can act more as an ice pack and that would not be good. Just put your hand in to check the temperature and continue to warm up as needed. Also make sure there is a barrier between the baby and the sock so we don’t burn the baby.
4. Help call for mom
If the little tiny voices aren’t carrying over the sound of the wind try going to YouTube and playing this clip of baby squirrels calling. Turn the volume up high on your phone and leave it next to the box while the clip plays. Make sure you have stepped back far enough away that mom doesn’t find you a threat. It would be best if you were out of sight all together.
5. Wait, but not too long
If you don’t see mom coming and it is been a couple of hours then it’s best that they come inside and you give us a call. Typically if the clip of squirrel calls are playing you will see a interested adults somewhere nearby. That would be encouraging enough to keep them outside and try to unite them. If it is just too cold, or starting to get dark then you may lose your opportunity. That being said we have had moms come and pick up her babies the next day too.
If you run into any issues or you have reason to believe mom has passed give us a call or you can call the Wildlife Rescue League at 703-440-0800