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Eastern Gray Squirrels

The Eastern Gray Squirrel is a Tree Squirrel native to Eastern North America which has predominantly gray fur and a large bushy tail but it can have a brownish color. It has a usual white underside as compared to the typical brownish-orange underside of the fox squirrel. Eastern gray squirrels build a type of nest, known as a drey, in the forks of trees. Dreys consist mainly of dry leaves and twigs. Eastern Gray Squirrels may also inhabit a permanent tree den hollowed out in the trunk or a large branch of a tree. These dens are lined with moss plants, thistledown, dried grass, and feathers. In Florida, their breeding seasons are Spring and Autumn. Normally, one to four young are born in each litter, but the largest possible litter size is eight. Only one in four squirrel kits survives to one year of age. Tail flicking and the “kuk” or “quaa” call are used to ward off and warn other squirrels about predators, as well as to announce when a predator is leaving the area. Eastern gray squirrels eat a range of foods, such as tree bark, tree buds, berries, many types of seeds and acorns, walnuts & other nuts, and some types of fungi found in the forests, including fly agaric mushrooms.

Does this Squirrel Need your Help?

EGSQ NestDisplaced: If you find a displaced baby squirrel, chances are the mother may be actively relocating the nest and the babies will not require your human interference. If you know for certain the mother is deceased, please follow the “Orphaned” information below. First, Look closely for other babies which could also be nearby. Place the babies in a box at the base of a nearby tree where the baby was found and watch from a good distance for about 15 minutes and observe the mother squirrels activity. A mother squirrel usually doesn’t show herself if she detects anyone’s presence. Yes, you can gently handle a baby mammal and the mother will still care for it. If you see her picking up and relocating her babies, usually one at a time, it is probably safe to just leave them alone. If you do not see any activity, or the nest was knocked out of the tree, has immediate predatory danger or expecting inclement weather, the babies will need your temporary assistance for their best chance for survival. Follow the “Orphaned” information below if this is the case. Keep in mind scared or injured animals may bite and can also carry and transfer certain diseases and parasites such as mites. Wear gloves and use extreme care when handling any animal. Please call 941-637-3830 if you need wildlife rescue assistance or for us to guide you in the steps to rescue and transport the squirrel yourself. Please DO NOT keep the babies to care for yourself or to make as a pet, there is a lot involved in successfully rehabilitating wildlife. If you are interested in becoming a homecare specialist to foster baby mammals or becoming a Wildlife Rescuer and Transporter, please call us for the next available free classes.

also see: Southern Flying Squirrels and Eastern Fox Squirrels that you may encounter in Florida.

Neonatal SquirrelsOrphaned: If you find one orphaned baby squirrel, look carefully, there may be more nearby. A baby squirrel is considered orphaned only if the mother parent is confirmed to be deceased. If you are not positive the baby squirrel is actually an orphan, please follow the “Displaced” information above. Depending on the age, the squirrel will need supplemental formula to survive. It is best NOT to feed the squirrel any foods or formulas without knowing the specific proper diet that is required according to the squirrels age and health. However, it is very crucial to keep the squirrel warm and kept covered in a quiet stress free container with air holes and lined with a pillow case and something warm until a wildlife rescuer arrives and the squirrel can be transported to your local wildlife rehabilitation center. Yes, you can gently handle a baby mammal and the mother will still care for it. If you need to possess the squirrel for more than two hours, place the container partially on a heating pad set on low temperature. Keep in mind scared or injured animals may bite and can also carry and transfer certain diseases and parasites such as mites. Wear gloves and use extreme care when handling any animal. Please call 941-637-3830 if you need wildlife rescue assistance or for us to guide you in the steps to rescue and transport the squirrel yourself. Please DO NOT keep the babies to care for yourself or to make as a pet, there is a lot involved in successfully rehabilitating wildlife. If you are interested in becoming a homecare specialist to foster baby mammals or becoming a Wildlife Rescuer and Transporter, please call us for the next available free classes.

also see: Southern Flying Squirrels and Eastern Fox Squirrels that you may encounter in Florida.

Squiggy's head shot--just waiting for Hollywood to call!Injured: In may cases, it is obvious that a squirrel is most likely injured. If this is the case, the squirrel will need immediate medical attention and be brought to your local Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. An injured squirrel will most likely be in pain and highly stressed and the animal may bite or be difficult for you to handle. It is very important to reduce the trauma and stress the squirrel is already feeling. Throw a sheet or pillow case completely head to toe over the distressed squirrel, wrap sheet around the animal being careful not to get bit, pick up and place into a secured container or box with air holes. Do not make any attempt to examine, medicate or feed the squirrel. Keep in mind scared or injured animals may bite and can also carry and transfer certain diseases and  parasites such as mites. Wear gloves and use extreme care when handling any animal. Please call 941-637-3830 if you need wildlife rescue assistance or for us to guide you in the steps to rescue and transport the squirrel yourself. Please DO NOT keep the babies to care for yourself or to make as a pet, there is a lot involved in successfully rehabilitating wildlife. If you are interested in becoming a homecare specialist to foster baby mammals or becoming a Wildlife Rescuer and Transporter, please call us for the next available free classes.

also see: Southern Flying Squirrels and Eastern Fox Squirrels that you may encounter in Florida.

 

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