A female squirrel may have up to five babies at a time. In fact, it has been reported that a female squirrel can give birth to as many as nine young in a litter. These baby animals are helpless when they first leave the nest and are nursed for up to nine weeks. The mother squirrel also makes sure to keep their young warm and safe by adding more material to their nest.
Average Squirrel Baby Litter
The average squirrel litter consists of two to four babies, but sometimes more. Some species can produce up to eight young at once. The female squirrel will suckle her baby for a few weeks. The young are blind, but will soon develop eyes and fur. After seven or eight weeks, the newborns begin to feed on solid food. After that, the young will move away from the nest to set up dreys to eat. They will stay near the nest for up to two months, but if the area is overcrowded, they will go to different areas to find food.
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Grey squirrels usually have two breeding periods each year. They give birth to young between March and April. Depending on the size of the litter, a female may give birth to one to nine babies at a time. In some cases, they may have as many as eight young at a time. Their babies are helpless during the first few weeks. Their mothers will groom their newborns several times every day. During this period, the babies will spend most of their time with their mother, foraging for food and protecting their nest from predators.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.