Squirrels

Squirrels usually have two litters a year, in spring and late summer. The most common squirrels in Eastern Ontario are the Eastern Grey Squirrel (which comes in three colours: grey, black and brown), and the Red Squirrel.

When to Rescue

A baby squirrel needs rescuing if:

  • it is following people, pets or cars, or even crawls up your leg
  • more than one baby starts falling out of a nest
  • a nest is destroyed
  • a crow, cat or dog was involved
  • it is showing other signs of illness or injury

What to Do

Follow the baby mammal temporary care instructions.

What to Feed

If eyes are closed, do not give any food or water. Feeding the wrong thing, at the wrong time, using the wrong tools can cause more harm than good. 

If eyes are open, and it is alert and active, you can give it a jar lid of water, and pieces of cut-up fruit. Do not give any seeds or nuts as it needs fluids before it can process dry food.

If you found a nest in a car engine or BBQ

Squirrels always have back-up nests so given the chance, there’s a 99% chance that mom will move the babies. Keep the hood or lid open, disturb the nest just a little bit and check back in a few hours.

If you recently excluded a squirrel from your attic

Squirrels always have back-up nests so given the chance, there’s a 99% chance that mom will move the babies. Immediately put the babies in a small box as close as possible to where you found them. Follow the instructions below to reunite.

Reuniting with Mother

Sometimes a baby squirrel will fall out of its nest. Usually, the mother will retrieve it as long as the baby is warm and healthy. Try reuniting the squirrel with its mother.

To try to reunite a squirrel baby with its mother, put it in a small box it cannot climb out of, and attach it to the trunk of the tree a few feet off the ground. Do not cover the baby with any bedding. It is very important to keep the baby warm—the mother will not retrieve a cold baby. You can fill a small soda pop bottle with hot water, wrap it in a towel, and brace it inside the box. Replace the hot water frequently as it cools down. Leave the area and monitor from a distance—the mother will not return if there are people or pets around. If the mother has not retrieved the baby within a couple of hours, it might need rescuing. Never leave a baby squirrel out overnight since the mother will not retrieve it after dark. Bring the squirrel inside for the night to keep warm and put the box back outside first thing in the morning.