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Keep Wildlife Wild

At birth, gray squirrels are about the size of a human thumb. Their eyes open when they are about 4 weeks old. At about 7 weeks they begin to explore outside the nest area. They are not weaned until they are 9 weeks old, and they cannot survive on their own until they are at least 12 weeks old. A young squirrel about half the size of an adult, with a bushy tail, is old enough to be on its own. They can have multiple litters each year, so young squirrels, called kits, may be encountered any time from spring through fall.

Tip: If you find a very young squirrel with its eyes still sealed shut, it has probably fallen from its nest. If the kit is not injured, it should be placed back in its nest, if it is safe to do so. If the kit cannot safely be placed back in its nest, place it at the base of the nest tree on a soft, ravel-free cloth (i.e. no loose strings) during daylight hours. There is a good chance the mother will find the kit and return it to the nest herself. Keep an eye on the young squirrel from indoors or from a distance so your presence doesn't prevent the mother from returning, and so you can watch for possible predators. Unless the mother hasn't picked up the kit after two hours, or if a squirrel is injured or acting friendly and following people or pets, it should be left alone.