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Thread: New Member - Our Squirrel Has Not Come Back To Her Nesting Box In 5 Days

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    Default New Member - Our Squirrel Has Not Come Back To Her Nesting Box In 5 Days

    Hello, as helpful as this forum has been in the process of raising the pinky we found 3 or so months ago...it almost seems like we were not prepared for the gut punch we have been feeling all weekend. Friday morning was the last time we saw her, I immediately told the wife that the fact that she hadn't returned yet this evening is concerning but she brushed it off like it was no big deal. Several days went by and she has still not returned to her nesting box. She gets pecans, walnuts, squash, and sweet potato in a bowl everyday on the ledge of her house so it would surprise me that she would just run off to "greener pastures".

    Several weeks back we had heard an owl off in the distance. Just this Sunday evening I saw an Owl leave one of the neighboring trees. I went back out a little later and the Owl was back in the tree but then perched on a goal post ~80ft away. I went out with a flashlight to try and scare it off but it was unphased. It wasn't until I got right under it that it flew off to a higher spot ~200-250 yds away. I went over to it to scare it off further which eventually did work.

    My concern is we are still seeing the wild squirrels that have been occasionally eating her food. In fact I saw 2 of them today chasing eachother around one of the big trees. This is a problem because it seems like our sweet squirrel is gone and not by her own decision. What frustrates me the most and might be a unpopular perspective, but it is that the wild squirrels are still alive and she is gone. How is it that they were better prepared for this over our healthy squirrel? How is it that our healthy squirrel has a whole box to live in and stay safe is the one that gets taken?

    She seemed very skittish of fast movements and the sound of blue jays. It seemed like her instincts were right but not enough to protect her. We are absolutely heartbroken at what we can only assume is the inevitable fact that our sweet squirrel was taken by an owl mercilessly. At the end of the day she was a wild animal and we should have respected that by keeping separation but it's so hard. You wake up every 3 hours of the day to feed her from the moment you find her to the moment she is opening her eyes and stumbling all over you. You cancel plans or make sure to be home on time to be there to feed her. You spend time trying to get her to go to the bathroom or worry that she is pooping too much or not enough.


    You do everything you can to ensure her success only for it to be crushed by nature. I didn't want to get attached, but it was inevitable. I don't know how we could possibly do this again knowing that all we did was raise a snack for an owl. She truly was loved and cared for.


    I want to close with, this board was incredibly helpful on providing guidance for what to expect and what to do/not do. I hope this board continues to provide guidance to those who need it when coming across a baby squirrel. I just hope they never have to feel the heartache we have this weekend.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: New Member - Our Squirrel Has Not Come Back To Her Nesting Box In 5 Days

    Hello, don’t give up just yet. My Shelly turned 2 this spring and I’d seen her nearly every morning and night for all 2 years. When she broke her leg last year I brought her in to heal as we had 5 fox living under the neighbor’s shed and a ton of hawks around. This spring she up and vanished. I was devastated. I was sure the worst had happened. Two long months later she hoped up on my lap like nothing ever happened and currently moved into a nest box in my front yard. You may be right, but you may not. These guys amaze me every day!

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    Default Re: New Member - Our Squirrel Has Not Come Back To Her Nesting Box In 5 Days

    Quote Originally Posted by Shellysfriend View Post
    Hello, don’t give up just yet. My Shelly turned 2 this spring and I’d seen her nearly every morning and night for all 2 years. When she broke her leg last year I brought her in to heal as we had 5 fox living under the neighbor’s shed and a ton of hawks around. This spring she up and vanished. I was devastated. I was sure the worst had happened. Two long months later she hoped up on my lap like nothing ever happened and currently moved into a nest box in my front yard. You may be right, but you may not. These guys amaze me every day!
    Were hoping she just ran off from being challenged by the 3 other squirrels in the area and will eventually return but we also want to be realistic and not have false hope waiting. I still fill the food bowl hoping for her eventual return but the other squirrels are hitting it. If she did move on for a bit my only fear is that she is not prepared for what is about to come. We have had very warm temperatures up until this week. It's starting to get very cold and if she still is out there I am not sure she has adequate shelter. If she is still out there it seems like the odds are stacked against her. I appreciate your optimism and hope though.

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    Default Re: New Member - Our Squirrel Has Not Come Back To Her Nesting Box In 5 Days

    Hi SuirrelyDan,

    Keep the hope! We have many wild squirrels that come around everyday braving the risk of all kinds of predators. Squirrels are so clever and bark out alerts for others. They all speak the same language. Some squirrels are missing for weeks and then show-up. These little guys are just amazing and surprise me everytime. I would always bet on the squirrels!

    Hang in there.

    SSG

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    Default Re: New Member - Our Squirrel Has Not Come Back To Her Nesting Box In 5 Days

    Hi SuirrelyDan, I'm so sorry to hear your squirrel is missing. Did she ever come home? We are going through the same thing right now, and I am absolutely heartbroken (hence my username). Our little boy squirrel Hercules (approx. 4 months old) had been soft released and going in and out for the last few weeks. He was doing great and still coming in every night, but now he has been missing for 4 days. I see other squirrels, but it's not him. We had him from about 5 weeks old, and I can relate with waking up to feed him every few hours and everything you said. When he was a baby, our dog found him in a bush all by himself and his mom never returned so we took him in. This is the first squirrel I've ever cared for, and I never could have imagined how attached I would get to him. I am also thankful for this board. It gave me a lot of guidance in learning how to care for him. I have a new appreciation for squirrels and what amazing creatures they are. Prayers that both of our babies come home.

  6. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Brokenheart from:

    supersquirrelgirl (11-27-2023)

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    Default Re: New Member - Our Squirrel Has Not Come Back To Her Nesting Box In 5 Days

    Quote Originally Posted by SuirrelyDan View Post
    Hello, as helpful as this forum has been in the process of raising the pinky we found 3 or so months ago...

    Keep the optimism, she may return. It could be the more mature squirrels that found her feeding spot have scared her off for now.

    Did she receive a soft release? I am asking because if she was a pinky 3 month ago or so, that places her about 14 weeks which is the minimum age we recommend to start a soft release. Of course, the 3 months or so is very general so she may be older than that...
    Squirrel Advocate

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    Default Re: New Member - Our Squirrel Has Not Come Back To Her Nesting Box In 5 Days

    Quote Originally Posted by Spanky View Post

    Keep the optimism, she may return. It could be the more mature squirrels that found her feeding spot have scared her off for now.

    Did she receive a soft release? I am asking because if she was a pinky 3 month ago or so, that places her about 14 weeks which is the minimum age we recommend to start a soft release. Of course, the 3 months or so is very general so she may be older than that...
    She definitely received a soft release, it did get to the point that she didn't want to stay in her cage anymore and we felt control what you can control so we got her house up in the tree so she could at least have some nearby protection. Originally we started the cage out under the patio with her house in it and then gradually moved it under to the trees she would be staying in. We mounted the house when we assume she was ~11 weeks old. You can see the progression of her age in the pictures.

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    Sadly the last picture was one of the last ones I was able to get of her.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: New Member - Our Squirrel Has Not Come Back To Her Nesting Box In 5 Days

    We miss looking out the back window to see her little head poking out of her hole. It's just an empty box and a tragic reminder. Not trying to be dramatic but I'm sure most people here can empathize with how attached you get to them.


    Keeping her in the cage seemed cruel, she would just chew on it and I was worried she might eventually hurt herself since she would lose her mind in there.

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