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Squirrel Nesting Boxes

When very young (eyes still closed), squirrels are kept in a cloth lined shoe box that is half on and half off of a heating pad set to low. This way the blind babies can move around in the box to find the proper heat level. Once their eyes are open, they are mature enough to be put into an indoor cage. As they grow, the squirrels are moved to progressively larger cages. The final, largest cages also contains a nesting box.

Squirrel nesting boxes have an opening on the side of the box and screen wiring is on the bottom. Texas is very hot. The screen wiring allows more air to circulate. Squirrels love to gnaw on wood. Becasue of this, screws are used in the construction of squirrel nesting boxes to aid in repair. Also, because of the gnawing, adhesives, and pressure treated or manufactured press or ply woods are NOT used for squirrel nesting boxes. These materials could be toxic to the squirrels.

Side Hole Mesh Bottoms

Indoor Nesting Box

Nesting boxes are secured with bungee cords to the outside of the indoor cage. This creates an environment for a young squirrels to have a safe place to hide and sleep at night. When they are ready to transition to an outdoor cage, all one has to do is cover the nesting box entrance to move the box containing the squirrels to the outdoor cage. This method ensures a less stressful transition for the squirrels.

Indoor cage

Nesting Box Inside Outdoor Caging

The nesting box is hung on the outdoor cage using a nut and bolt and provides a safe environment for them to acclimate to being outside with their litter mates. They also develop their foraging skills by having food hidden on the floor of the cage.

Outdoor cage

Nesting Box at Release Site

When the young squirrels are ready to be released they will be taken to a release site inside their nesting box. This helps to reduce stress while they are being transported. Using a ladder the rehabber will secure the nesting box on a tree using cargo straps. We use cargo straps to reduce damaging the tree and it also allows us to reuse our boxes. Nesting boxes are left hanging until the next baby season. A good rehabilitator will try to rotate release sites to avoid overloading an area with squirrels.

Eventually, the squirrels will abandon the nesting box and move into their own nest (drey). Rehabbers must be cautious when retrieving an "empty" nesting box. Sometimes, an abandoned nesting box will get a squatter! Opossums, screech owls, and even bees will use them as homes.

Up a tree Beehive! Peeky Opossum!

Instructions to build a Squirrel Nesting Box

Step-by-step instructions for building a squirrel nesting box (download PDF).

Please email us at TXMWR@yahoo.com if you have any questions or when you finish your nesting box donation and we can arrange delivery.

Hope you found this educational and thanks for all your support!

Happy Squirrel
Upcoming Events
Volunteer Orientation
Sat Feb 1, 2020 10:30am
Class: Wildlife Rehabilitation, Squirrels
Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:00am
Volunteer Orientation
Sat Mar 7, 2020 10:30am
Class: Wildlife Rehabilitation, Raccoons
Sat Mar 21, 2020 1:00pm
Class: Wildlife Rehabilitation, Opossums
Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:00am