First Baby Squirrel of 2024

First Baby Squirrel of 2024

It's not exactly unusual for WildCare to admit our first tiny, pink baby squirrel in the month of February, but it's not the norm either!

WildCare admits over 80% of our patients between April and August, most of them orphaned baby animals. This little one's arrival on February 23rd indicates that we are looking at an early, and likely very busy spring! 

This tiny squirrel was found on a sidewalk, chilled to the bone and covered with scratches and bruises. Her rescuer searched the area for other babies or a nest or mother squirrel with no success. Our best guess is that she was grabbed and dropped by a predator.

At this young age (approximately 7 days old!), a baby squirrel is not yet able to regulate her own body temperature, so gently warming her was the first priority of Medical Staff on intake. 

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Once she was warm, the team gave her subcutaneous fluids and offered her a warmed electrolyte solution through a nipple to begin the process of rehydrating her. Watch her receiving her next feed of diluted squirrel formula in the video above. 

This little one's arrival means Wildlife Baby Season has begun! WildCare wants to remind everyone that any baby animal you find needs to come to WildCare or to your closest wildlife care center as soon as possible! Use AnimalHelpNow to find your local center if you're not in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Baby squirrels at this age must be fed every 3 - 4 hours, 24 hours a day. WildCare feeds all of our baby mammals specialized formulas developed specifically with the fat/protein/carbohydrate balance that that their species needs to grow up healthy. A baby of this age also cannot urinate and defecate without stimulation, and she must be kept very warm.

Raising orphaned wildlife babies to be healthy and able to return to the wild takes tremendous effort, and the consequences are dire if the little one doesn't receive proper nutrition and care. Always call WildCare's Living with Wildlife Hotline at 415-456-7283 when you find a baby animal who might need help!

Respect the Nest

Although our first baby squirrel of 2024 did not arrive due to a tree trimming accident, every year WildCare admits hundreds of baby animals who have been orphaned through tree, shrub or bush pruning.

PLEASE delay non-emergency tree work and yard trimming until October or later, after wildlife babies have grown up and left the nest!

Learn how to Respect the Nest below, and please don't hesitate to call WildCare's Living with Wildlife Hotline 415-456-7283 with any questions about wildlife or potential nesting sites in your yard!

Spring (and summer!) are busy baby season— procrastinate now!

Robins in knitted nest. Photo by Alison Hermance When is wildlife nesting?

There is some variation, but most wild animals have their first brood of babies in the spring, between March and June. However, especially in warmer climates, animals may actually nest year-round! ALWAYS be nest-aware when pruning and trimming!

Many species will also have a second brood in July or August if food supplies are sufficient, meaning that "baby season" stretches into October in many areas.

As our Respect the Nest graphic states, please be especially nest-aware from March through October!

If you can plan to trim your trees in the winter months (November and December), you can generally avoid the possibility of damaging a nest.

Note that January is probably safe in most areas, but WildCare does often admit our first baby hummingbirds and Eastern Fox Squirrels in January, so be extra cautious!

Winter is also a healthier time for the trees, when the sap has gone down and trees will be in their dormant phase.

Call WildCare at 415-456-7283 if you're unsure when it is a safe time to trim or remove a tree.

Nests are camouflaged intentionally, so they can be missed, even by the most careful inspection. It really is best to avoid trimming and pruning between March and October.

WildCare also asks you to avoid pruning shrubs bushes and hedges during the spring, summer and early fall months because many species nest in them too. However, not all plants want to be pruned in November/December. For some plants you may be removing flowers or fruit. Check with your local gardening experts for guidance on plant species in your yard, but always be nest-aware when pruning!