Thursday, August 23, 2018

Nature Study - Baby Squirrels

Squirrels are one of the funnest things to watch in my yard.  We have four, one-hundred foot tall douglas fir trees and a huge maple, among other trees and a hazelnut stand in our back yard.  Which is a squirrel favorite this time of year because the hazelnuts are starting to ripen!
Recently, I was taking out the garbage when I saw a large squirrel with what looked like a pink mouse in her mouth.  I ran and got my camera and followed her from a distance.  Through my lens I saw that it was a baby!  Brand new from the total lack of fur.  She was taking it to our huge douglas fir tree in the front yard.  The kids and I sat and watched her for a while.  She brought two more babies over and one by one, and took them high up into the tree.

This morning, my daughter and I ran outside to what sounded like baby bunny screaming.  At the base of the fir tree was a healthy baby squirrel and two very interested cats.  We took the cats inside and watched as the mama squirrel came down the tree and picked the baby up and brought it back to the nest.  About 12 ft away we found two more babies.  One, sadly, had died from falling directly onto the paving stones when it fell from the nest.

The other baby was ok and as soon as we touched it, it started screaming.  So we placed it at the base of the tree, right where the first baby was and mama came right down and got it, even though we were standing about 5ft away.  
She came back down and watched as we checked on the dead baby and tried to see if there were any signs of life.  There wasn't.  The mama was agitated and chittering and watching us, so we laid the dead baby down at the foot of the tree and went inside.  When we came back out a few minutes later, the baby was gone.  I am guessing the mama brought it back up even though there was no hope of saving it.

We are all a little troubled by what may have knocked them out of the tree in the first place.  The nest is 30-40ft up.  It definitely wasn't our cats.

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