These ideas should help you if you are attempting to reunite a baby squirrel with its mother. Older, eyes-opened squirrels can often be encouraged to climb a tree trunk, but eyes-closed baby squirrels will need to be placed in an open container, preferably attached to a tree so that the mother squirrel can retrieve her young. Here are a few options for providing a safe place for baby squirrels to wait for their mothers:
Any type of small box can be used as a temporary nest for a baby squirrel or litter of baby squirrels. Simply place the rice bag, soft blankets, and squirrel in the open-top box and attach it securely to the tree trunk with rope or a bungee cord. The box does not need to be high off of the ground – this box will not serve as a permanent home for the squirrel; it just provides a safe place off of the ground until the mother squirrel can relocate her young.
If the weather is rainy, a basket may be a more suitable temporary container for the young squirrel, since it won’t soak up water as a box would. Rope or bungee cords can be used to secure the basket; ensure that the attachment can sustain the weight of the mother squirrel when she comes to retrieve her young.
Another container option is a plastic jug with an opening cut into the side. The opening should be large enough for the mother squirrel to enter to retrieve her young. We recommend cutting the opening several inches from the bottom of the container to ensure that the baby squirrel(s) will not roll or crawl out of the opening.
A squirrel box can offer a more permanent solution to re-nesting young squirrels and is recommended in cases where entire nests or nesting trees are destroyed. Squirrel boxes that are intended to be permanent fixtures should be hung on trees with trunks that are 10 or more inches in diameter, 20-30 feet off of the ground. Fill the box half full with dry leaves or straw before placing the baby squirrel(s) in the nest box.
If the mother squirrel finds the squirrel box to her liking, she might stay and finish raising her young there. Alternatively, the mother squirrel may have a more preferred back-up nest, and may move her young one at a time to her new home. Observe the situation over the course of the day, and allow the mother squirrel enough time to move her whole family.