I got my first squirrels of the season on Friday. There are three of them—two girls and a boy, all Eastern Greys—and them came in around 45g each, making them probably somewhere between three and four weeks old now.
These guys were found in a nest in someone’s roof when the person was having some work done to it. So they had no injuries, which is good. The arrived at the Center last Sunday and my home-care colleague, Carla, took care of them for the first several days, so they were in good shape when I got them. They’re all eating, peeing, and pooping well, which is about all we can ask at this point in their lives. 🙂
Here are some first pics.
Wish us all luck!
As we’re about to start a new year, which means only a couple of more months before the first new squirrel babies start arriving at the Center, I would like to take a moment to pay tribute to those furry friends that are no longer with us.
By definition, animals that arrive at the Center are already at risk, whether from injury, illness, losing their mother (and her perfectly nutrionally balanced milk), or simply the stress they experience from us trying to help them. But knowing that doesn’t make it any less difficult when we lose them, no matter how briefly they touched our lives.
Warning: Before reading the rest of this entry, you may want to make sure you have some tissues nearby.
When I was home in Ottawa a couple of weeks ago, I woke up one morning to fresh snow falling. I don’t see that very often in California (!), so I went to the window to appreciate its beauty.
My parents’ backyard borders on national parkland, which is heavily forested. As I looked outside, I saw a black squirrel, dusted in snow, racing along a high branch, jumping from tree to tree, finally arriving back at his nest. I wonder if this is what he was rushing back for:
Happy Holidays to all my nutty friends, furry and otherwise. 🙂
Ho Ho Ho!
Quick administration note: I’ve changed the URL for this blog to www.LifeInSquirreldom.com, so if any of you readers have a link pointed to it, I’d appreciate it if you could update it. The old URL redirects to this one, so old links won’t be broken.
Likewise, my new e-mail address is Mama_Squirrel@LifeInSquirreldom.com.
If you’re an e-mail subscriber, you should continue to receive them without doing anything else (which you’ll know if you get this post in your Inbox tomorrow!).
If any of you happen to stumble upon any bugs as a result of this change, please let me know.
I took my last two squirrels of this season to the Center today to join their four “siblings” in an outdoor enclosure for the next few weeks until I can release them all back into the wild.
Speaking of wild, that’s the way we’re describing this season after the huge onslaught of the wee critters we received. I don’t know what the final count is (and there could still be stragglers), but we usually get around 50 in March. This year there were more than 80!
I’ll write more about this season’s squirrel adventures later, but for now I’ll just post a few pics to remind you why it is I love doing this!
Here’s a first look at my new set.
The first one I got, the black one, opened his eyes today. One of the others also had just a slight opening in one eye at the last feeding.
The three smaller ones are still a little thin, but they seem to be getting a little more robust and energetic at each feeding. Two of them had bloody noses first thing this morning, but those seem to have cleared up. The weird thing, though, is that not one of them (not even the big one) has peed once for me while stimulating them. They don’t seem to be uncomfortable, so I assume they’ve been going in the carrier (you can’t really tell, because at this size we’re talking just a few drops). They have been pooping to various degrees and, as I said, they seem healthy otherwise, so I’ll try not to worry too much about it for the time being.
Three more squirrels came into the center today. I brought them home and kept them separated from my other guy until their next feeding, then put them all in together. I have one more feeding to go today, so I’ll have a chance to see how they’re getting along before I go to bed.
Well, I’m a Mom again.
There are still some stragglers coming into the wildlife center, so I picked up a new little guy today. He’s already about 120 grams, but his eyes haven’t opened yet. I was supposed to get two more that are currently at another volunteer’s home, but apparently one of them has diarrhea, so they want to get him stabilized before handing him off to me. But whether it’s those particular ones, I’ll definitely get another two or three in the next couple of days, so this guy won’t have to be alone for too long.
My new charge is almost completely black, totally different from my last bunch. Because I just picked him up today, I’ll wait to take some pics so he can get settled into his new environment. I’ve fed him once since I got him home. It’s really weird to be holding such a small one again.
As for my first set, I’ll be going into the center tomorrow to pick up some more formula, so I’ll check on how they’re doing. I’m really looking forward to seeing them again!