City Wildlife recently admitted the first baby squirrel of the year! Each spring, we get flooded with orphaned squirrels that have fallen from their nest. We do our best to give every squirrel a second chance at life, but our specialized care does not come close to the care they receive from their mother. To ensure their best chance of survival, squirrels should be reunited with their mothers whenever possible. For that, we need your help!
If you find a healthy baby squirrel, follow these simple steps to reunite it with its mother:
- Do not give the baby any food or water.
- Keep the baby warm. Place uncooked rice or birdseed in a sock and warm it in the microwave for twenty to thirty seconds. Then, wrap the sock in a soft towel and place it next to the baby.
- Place the baby in a box or basket lower on the tree or at the base of the tree where the nest is located.
- Observe from a distance for the next six to eight hours. Reheat the rice/birdseed-filled sock every two hours.
- If the mother does not return, the baby is orphaned and will need to be brought to a wildlife rehabilitator.
- Do not leave the baby out overnight. After the sun sets, bring the baby inside and keep it in a quiet and warm place. Do not handle it and do not give it any food or water. Try re-nesting it after sunrise the following morning.
If a baby squirrel is visibly injured, covered in fly eggs (which look like small grains of rice), cold, wet, and/or vocalizing, then it needs immediate attention. Please call us at (202) 882-1000.
I am in india, got your web info while google how to survive baby squirrel dropped from nest.
I have put back 2 baby squirrels back into nest with her another siblings and her mom
Both were dropped from balcony of 1st floor no visible wound or bleeding.
Also fixed support around their nest.
Her mother around them she bring both into nest with the 3rd one
I can’t see them as they are inside nest
Please guide what to observe and do?
Kim Hodlin says
Since the mother has returned them to the nest, there is nothing else you need to do. The squirrels have been successfully re-nested!
I’ve been watching 2 baby squirrels and mom. 4 or 5 days ago the babies started poking their heads out the nest, nest is a hole in very large tree. Now babies are able to climb around pretty well. I’m thinking they are 7 weeks. Mom is not protecting them while other squirrels are near. Mom hasn’t been with babies at all during the day. I know this because mom is eating buds off the tree all day long, non stop. Babies try to get close to her and she quickly will jump over them and take off. I believe mom is going into nest at night but I can’t say for sure. Is this normal? I feel really bad for the babies. Mom had a litter late last summer and took very good care of those babies. I should mention I do not have access to the tree to feed them. What do you think? Is this normal? Is there anything I can do to help them?
Jim Monsma says
Mom is no doubt encouraging her young to be more independent. They are old enough to find their own food at this point. She is doing what needs to be done in their world.
A baby squirrel of one day old fell from the nest which was kept inside the house near entrace & the mother left as she can’t find her babies. Now the baby is of 3 day old. Do the mother squirrel come & take her baby if o place baby squirrel near the nest and by playing baby squirrel sounds?
Jim Monsma says
Mother squirrels often do retrieve babies who have fallen from the nest. But not always. If a squirrel is not retrieved by the mother, the baby will have to go to a wildlife rehabilitator.
Sarah King says
Found mother and nest of 4 babies under the hood of my tractor, she jumped out and ran off. Late in day. Early next morning I returned tractor to barn and popped hood and made a box nest with all 4 babies, checked on them mid day and mom had returned and taken 2 of them. Check on them late in day. May have scared mom. Not sure. At end of day checked and there were still 2 babies. They have short fur and eyes are closed. They all look healthy and are staying warm with a hot water bottle under nest. I brought them in the house for the night and plan on setting them back in the early morning again. How long should I wait for her to move the last 2? I plan on playing a baby de stress call in the morning as well. But have been reluctant to do so, not wanting to attract predators. If she doesn’t move them by the afternoon then I think I should take them to a wild life rescue. Input?
Jim Monsma says
Thanks for helping the squirrels! We generally recommend that you give mother squirrel 24 hours to move her babies to a back-up nest, taking them in at night and keeping them warm, as you are doing. After that they should go to a wildlife rehabber.