Squirrel Release Site Criteria

WildCare is having a VERY busy second baby squirrel season with over 80 babies currently in care!

Western Gray Squirrel (left), Eastern Gray Squirrel (right). These are young squirrels not yet at release age. Photo by Melanie Piazza

Once these babies have grown up, we need safe and appropriate release sites for them. Unfortunately, due to the number of squirrels we’ve raised this year, we have already used all of the squirrel release sites previously offered.

We need more release sites in Marin County for Western Gray, Eastern Gray and Fox Squirrels!

Can you or someone you know help? Please take a look at the below information to see if your property might be a good release site for squirrels. We especially need to know what species of squirrel you already have in your yard (see below for descriptions).

Here’s information about what is needed:

Release site requirements:

  • Must have owner’s approval and be on private property and so that the squirrels can be monitored (from a distance).
  • Must not be too near busy roads
  • Must not have unleashed dogs, outdoor cats or feral feeding station in the immediate vicinity.
  • Must be able to confidently identify the species of squirrels you have at that location. We cannot introduce Easterns into Western Gray or Fox Squirrel territory, etc. Ideally, you can ID the local species yourself–we do not have anyone who can visit the property to do this but we may still be able to help using technology.
    • Eastern Grey squirrels are our smallest tree squirrels and are grey with white bellies, with orange-ish fur on ears, paws and lining the white belly. They also come in black and blonde color morphs.
    • Fox squirrels are very large and completely orange and grey, no white at all
    • Western Grey’s are also large but are only grey with white bellies, no orange on them.

If you aren’t sure, take and send a few photos of the squirrels in your yard or the proposed release location, and we’ll ID them.

  • Lots of natural food source trees such as oak and bay.
  • Ideally a year-round water source such as a creek
  • One tree will need to have a sturdy branch within reach of a tossed rope so that we can hoist the hidey box up and secure it in the tree.
A squirrel nest box in a tree. Photo by Melanie Piazza

What release entails:

  • The squirrels will be in their hidey box and we will bring them to the location and hang their box in a tree via rope. We will wear masks at all time but as long as we have access to the yard/tree, it can be done without any contact at all, you can stay in your house if you prefer.
  • The homeowner agrees to put out water and food (provided by WildCare) daily until the squirrels no longer return.
  • Once the squirrels leave their nest box, bring the box, bowls and any leftover food back to WildCare. Sometimes they leave that same day, other times they utilize the box and food for a few days to a couple of weeks–there is no way to predict.

Please let me know if you or someone you know can help with this! Feel free to share this request for release sites and/or post on your local NextDoor. Remember please, Marin County only.

If you meet the above criteria, please email your name, phone number and address to frontdesk@discoverwildcare.org with the subject line: “Squirrel release site.”

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted in Wildlife Patient Stories by Alison Hermance.

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