Baby squirrels left behind after a mother has been relocated are definitely orphaned and in need of help. Contrary to popular belief babies will not be adopted by another wild squirrel or learn to fend for themselves. Learn more about live trapping.

How to make sure the baby squirrel is an orphan

Before taking action, make certain the baby you have found belongs to the adult that has been removed. More than one adult squirrel can live in a small area, so unless the relocated squirrel was removed directly from the nest site, you should try to temporarily leave the baby out for its mother before intervening further.

To do this for a baby found INSIDE a nest, follow these steps:

  • Leave the nest alone and watch from a distance for several hours
  • If possible, temporarily stop any activities going on near the den site that might scare the mother (like construction)
  • If the nest is inside a hole (e.g. in a roof), lightly tape a single sheet of newspaper over the entrance to the nest as a visual test to see if the mother returns (check the paper periodically–you will know if she has if the paper is torn through)

If the baby was found OUTSIDE a nest (e.g., on the ground), learn how to potentially reunite the baby with its mother.

If you are certain that the relocated adult was the baby’s parent, learn more about how to contain the baby.