Baby Squirrels!

The end of May and beginning of June is a great time for seeing babies of various wildlife species. A few days after I observed the Eastern Gray Squirrel carrying its offspring up a tree at the Beaver Trail I saw a few more baby squirrels – in my own backyard. I am used to having squirrels and chipmunks come to visit me, as I often give them peanuts to keep them out of my feeders (not that that stops them!); however, it was quite something to see Momma Squirrel visit with four babies in tow!

Young Eastern Gray Squirrel

Young Eastern Gray Squirrel

The babies were about three-quarters of the size of mom, with long, sleek bodies and and thinner tails. Although Momma Squirrel wasn’t phased when I opened the door to throw out some peanuts, all of the babies scampered back toward the fence. One of the babies climbed to the top of the fence, so I grabbed my camera and took some photos.

Young Eastern Gray Squirrel

Young Eastern Gray Squirrel

Young Eastern Gray Squirrel

Young Eastern Gray Squirrel

When at last the squirrels realized I wasn’t going to step outside, they hesitantly joined mom on the patio to grab some peanuts. Mom is the largest squirrel at the bottom left.

Family of Eastern Gray Squirrels

Family of Eastern Gray Squirrels – May 30, 2014

When they visited me again the following day, Mom only had three babies with her. Hopefully the fourth was exploring somewhere close by, or had found a cozy spot in a tree to while away the afternoon. I am not sure how long young squirrels stay with their mother once they are weaned, which occurs at around 8-12 weeks; they are fully independent after 12 weeks. I saw one attempting to suckle, though the mother wasn’t interested, so I am guessing they are about 8 or 10 weeks old.

They were fun to watch, though they didn’t stay long. I hope they learn to avoid cars and outdoor cats as successfully as their mother has!

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