What Can You Leave Outside For a Wild Squirrel to Add to Their NES?
When making a nest for a wild squirrel, think of places they can find a cozy, warm spot. Whether it’s a corner of a dark porch or against your house, a leafy gutter makes a nice soft bed for the animals. If you just cleaned your gutters, revert to the original step and make a temporary leaf nest for your squirrel. Leave the area unopened for a few days to give them time to reclaim their young. You can also leave out wood, but if you do, leave the wood in its natural state. The squirrels will find another place to make a nest.
A rodent block can provide 100% nutrition for a captive squirrel. Unlike pellets, a rodent block will not perish, and should be readily available to your squirrel. Once your squirrels have weaned off pellets, you should start adding the rodent block to their cage. You can also provide other teething materials, such as pinecones and cedar boughs. You can also mix large striped unsalted sunflower seeds with chopped fruit.
The best time to start providing food for a baby squirrel is during weaning, when your baby is around nine to ten weeks old. By this time, your baby will start consuming solid foods, and will only want a little bit of formula. Once your baby has finished eating rodent block, it is time to introduce solid foods. Leaving out a block of a rodent-approved pellet is an excellent way to help the little squirrels transition into solid foods.
Natural wooden blocks, cylinders, or cubes make excellent chew toys for a wild squirrel. Chew stacks can be used as a supplement to their natural diet, and can mimic the nesting process. Wild squirrels need calcium to build strong bones. Providing your squirrel with chew bones can help them get their daily dose of calcium. You can even place these objects outside for them to add to their nes.
Eastern gray and fox squirrels also eat a variety of other foods, including acorns and seeds. They also consume leaves, bird eggs, and nestlings. While many people may think that squirrels are nocturnal, they actually have strong senses of smell. They can sniff out a buried nut from hundreds of feet away. Interestingly, some squirrels are so good at finding food, that they are able to do it without human assistance. This is called “deceptive caching.” When squirrels are trying to find food, Eastern grays will pretend to put acorns in a hole. Then, when the squirrel discovers that the hole is empty, they cover it and go to another secret-stash location.
Tree Cavity Dens
If you’re looking for a great way to encourage wild squirrels to make nests in your yard, consider installing Tree Cavity Dens. These hollowed-out tree cavities are natural shelters for wild squirrels. Often abandoned by woodpeckers, these dens are used by squirrels as a safe haven. Despite their appearance, these nests are sturdy and are an excellent option for areas where squirrels don’t have access to other types of dens.
Aside from creating their nes, squirrels also build auxiliary dens. These are simply hollowed-out tree cavities with an entrance hole a few centimeters in diameter. The squirrels use them as rest areas and store food in these alternative dens. Almost all of these nests are reused by other wildlife. For example, the squirrels in the dreys above the nests in the ground build them on top of one another so that the dens are more protected and insulated during the colder months.
Rodent nursing sets
There are a few different rodent nursing sets for baby squirrels. One is a 10cc plastic syringe. This syringe fits inside a pet nursing bottle. Another is an oral feeding syringe. Both of these options can be used with a baby squirrel. The nipples should be seated against the roof of the squirrel’s mouth so that the squirrel can suck on them. If the baby squirrels are too young to nurse, a small feeding syringe works best.
Regardless of the size of the rodent nursing set, you should not keep the baby squirrels for more than four weeks. These babies are too young to have teeth. Their incisors first erupt at three weeks of age, followed by the top two between four and six weeks. Then, around six weeks, the cheek teeth will begin to come through. These teeth must align properly in order to wear down.
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.