Watching a Mother Squirrel



Baby squirrels, originally uploaded by ucb411.

After about 44 days of gestation, baby squirrels are born–hairless, blind, and unable to leave the nest for several weeks. A mother squirrel might have two to six or so babies, so she must somehow eat well but stay close so she can nurse. All this happens during the dead of winter, when food is likely to be scarce, and the weather harsh.

It never ceases to amaze me how hard these wondrous animals work for the wellbeing of their young. One winter I watched for an hour as a mother carefully moved one baby at a time from one tree to another, probably because the nest had fleas.

Grasping the baby gently in her mouth, she would carefully climb down the tree, run across the street and up the new tree. After she would place the baby in a hollow, back she would go to get another baby. I counted six babies!

I couldn’t believe my eyes. Yet other pedestrians were oblivious to the wonder that was happening right above them. When I would tell them excitedly what was going on, I got some strange looks, and mostly people would just rush on by.

Humans! I can’t figure them out sometimes.

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6 thoughts on “Watching a Mother Squirrel

  1. Great story. Amazing to see the power of instinct and the will to survive… and then wonder at how quickly we- as supposedly more intelligent beings- become unhinged over much lesser challenges.

    Sometimes I’m not sure about humans either.

  2. Thanks for visiting, Greg! I love your site–such a beautiful design! I want to catch up on your story!

    Isn’t it wonderful how the more you know about squirrels, the more you want to know? I love these little creatures!

    Vicki

  3. Morning Vicki~

    You need to have a camcorder with you at all times to catch all this “wonderful magic” you’re SO blessed to see!

    Oh…how precious!

    I just re-watched “March of the Penquins” this past weekend and was STILL amazed at what those adorable little creatures go through each year…WOW!!!!

    (I wish I could help them by driving in a “Fish Food Bank”) – tee-hee

    You are so blessed Vicki…to witness…and to appreciate…all the beautiful pieces of “Grace” right in front of your eyes!

    So few people do!

    (and you really don’t want to know what I think about most humans!@#?!?#?!)

    Thank you for this share!

    Be well,
    Ron

    P.S. the photo is to die for! (I want to squeeze them)

  4. I’ve been privileged with becoming friends with a squirrel, which I have named Alvin. He has been coming to my yard and letting me feed him now for 3 months. He would come to my back door and wait for me to bring him his bowl of seeds, nuts & corn. He would run around my feet as I put his food bowl down for him and then let me sit next to him while he ate.
    For the last month I have not seen him. I was worried for him because I live in a residential area where there are outdoor cats, cars and all the other dangers they may encounter. It finally dawned on me that Alvin, which I have now renamed Alvena, was pregnant. I have no clue as to where the location of her nest is. Finally, yesterday to my surprise Alvena was in my yard again and came to me for food. I hand fed her some Oaknut bread, and then her bowl of seeds, nuts, etc. She does look alot thinner now. I was searching for some information on squirrel mothers and their young and found the information here was very helpful to me.
    I just love this little squirrel and want to do anything I can to help her.

    Thank you
    Gail

  5. Like you, I will always be in awe of the power, grace and mighty love of these mother squirrels. We humans should feel humbled by all that they do, even the smallest of the small, with their toughness, their resiliency and their fierce love for their babies. Thanks for the timely reminder!

  6. I just had the same experience as the original post. I was so pleased to have the time to sit and watch as this diligent mother carried two babies (at first I couldn’t figure out what she had in her mouth….until I saw the tail!) The first time she went through quite a number of trees to get to the nest….the next time she took the easy way by walking across the grass and up the tree. It was fun to watch a squirrel in a “new” light!

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