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I am not an Alien

Baldy is an Eastern Gray Squirrel with a slight genetic flaw. He is about eight weeks old in this pic and should have a nice fur coat by now, but his hair just wont grow.

This is Jimmy's Story of Baldy
   I raised two orphaned baby Eastern Gray squirrels last fall 2002. They were bottle fed on "Esbilac Milk Replacer For Puppies". Actually I fed them with a syringe more often than a bottle. Once they were into the weaning process and old enough to explore, I moved them to an outside cage that measured 8 x 8 x 6 feet tall. I built them a nesting box which was placed in the cage with them.
   I released them when they reached about 12 weeks of age. We live on a very wooded lot, and I moved their nesting box to the side of an old oak tree about 10 ft off the ground, not far from our house. I kept an extension ladder propped up against the tree so I could check on them daily.
   They were both females and slept together through the winter. They even spent most of the summer together. Then it started to look like neither of them were staying in the nesting box. So I kind of quit checking on their nesting habits.
   During most of the winter, spring & summer they would still come up to me for a hand out. One was a lot friendlier than the other and would sit on my shoulders, dig in my pockets etc. The other was very shy and I had to move very slow around her.
   I couldn't tell them apart at a distance, only by their personalities could I tell who was who. I'll call them the "Shy one" and the "Friendly one".
   I had checked the nesting box on the weekend of August 17th and it looked like there was no longer any activity. There was no longer any sign of a nestled out area in their bedding straw. I thought darn, those buggars would prefer the regular stick and leaf built nests that the other squirrels had, than this nice nesting box that I built for them.
   Then for some reason unknown to me, I decided to climb up the ladder and inspect the nesting box on Friday August 22nd. Wow!!!!!! I found 4 little newborns in there. I still didn't know who the mother was or even if it was one of mine. So I started back checking the nest at least twice daily.     Turns out, the mother was the "Shy one". She would let me lift the top to the nesting box and watch her nurse her babies as long as I was very still.
    Almost two weeks went by and when I went to check on them September the 3rd , I was in for a surprise. I had to recount, because now there were six baby squirrels instead of the original four. You could actually tell the two new ones from the other four, and they looked like they might even be slightly larger and have more hair growth. I was confused to say the least. Didn't know if the "Friendly one" had dropped her babies off for her sister to raise, if the "Shy one" had stole these from another nest , or if she had found them abandoned and adopted them.      
  Well the weeks go by, and on September 27th , I noticed a 7th baby squirrel. However this one didn't have any hair, but it sure was big for it's age. I thought it was a younger squirrel that she adopted, but when it's eyes opened at about the same time as the rest of the babies, I knew different. I thought for sure the little buggar would start growing hair, but he didn't.
   And this is the story of how my little Bald Eastern Gray squirrel came about. I just call him Baldy. He is about eight weeks old in the top picture dated October 23, 2003. He will eat from my hand already. None of his siblings are brave or hungry enough to eat from my hand yet. I actually rubbed his little head this morning while he was eating some pecan morsels. I just hope and pray our winter is mild enough for him to survive. He seems to rule the roost so hopefully he will take over the nesting box if he needs it. I think they will all share the nesting box through their first winter like their mother and her sister did. I do have a second nesting box nailed up nearby , just in case.


Above are the four babies I noticed on August 22, 2003. And below is a pic dated one week later 8-30-03. You can tell some difference in one weeks growth.


Below is a picture of my "Big Surprise". I checked the nest on 9-03-03 and almost fell off the ladder. We had two additions to the litter. The two new ones looked just barely larger, and seemed to have more fur. They are positioned at the top and bottom of the litter. It only looks like five squirrels in the picture, but one of the original four is buried under the crowd trying to hide or stay warm.


Below are the six babies 10 days later 9-13-03. Growing well aren't they


Below is Mom nursing all six babies on the same day 9-13-03. Gives you an idea of how small they are. Hard to believe her body completely covers them.


Below picture dated 9-17-03. This is two days before the fouth week. I noticed the four original babies on 8-22-03. Notice one baby has it's eye open. Could it be one of the babys that came after the original four? Maybe they are older than the original four?


Below picture dated 9-27-03. This was taken the day I noticed the seventh squirrel. The two squirrels with eyes open are believed to be the two additions two the nest. This is the fifth week. Sorry you cant see Baldy in the pic, but he stayed borrowed under the rest of them for warmth.
 Shortly after I took the picture, I noticed that the litter looked bigger. Mother Squirrel was out of the nest and on a tree limb above us, where she kept a close watch.
  Now keep in mind that I wasn't aware of Baldy's presence yet.  Since I noticed that the litter looked bigger, I started counting. They were all squirming around and making it hard to count. I noticed one of them looked different than the others and he kept borrowing under them.
 I had to open the lid to the nesting box all the way open, which I haven't done since I first noticed them back in August. Big Mistake, I'll explain later.
  I did something that I haven't done up until that point. I reached in and starting moving babies around so I could get a good count, didn't want to count anybody twice. I counted and recounted, and kept coming up with seven. About that time, one of the babies let out a squeal.
 Mother squirrel flew down that tree and was in that nesting box in a heartbeat. Only problem is, that in her frenzied panic, she caused the lid to slam down on her back left foot before she was all the way in.
  It really hurt her foot. She favored it badly, and it was a sight to see her climb up and down that tree using just three legs. Then before the week was over, she was fine.
   I really felt bad, and have since put a hook up there to secure the lid if I have to open it all the way again. I thought "Darn" here she is raising all these babies and I had to cause her to be crippled.  But, you can't tell that she was ever injured now.


Next Day, Picture below dated 9-28-03. This is the first picture I got of Baldy, and you can barely make out his little face in the middle of the mass of babies and mother.
 Take in mind this was the day after the mother squirrel was hurt, but it didn't stop her from nursing her babies. I brought her some pecans to eat so she wouldn't have to forage for nuts from the trees.
  She was very leary of me and wouldn't eat from my hand.


I didn't go near the nesting box for a few days. Mother squirrel was scared of me now.  Waited untill 10-05-03 for the next pic below. Couldn't get a clear shot of Baldy. He was always burrowing under everybody. You can barely make out a furless mass under one of the babies in the pic. A few of his brothers and sisters were out of the nest exploring when I took the picture. And I didn't want to reach in and disturb them after what happened the first time I tried it.


Finally got my first clear shot of Baldy below on 10-11-03. Several of his siblings had scurried out of the box and up the tree when I opened the lid for the picture.


He tried to hide before I could get a second shot of him.


Below dated 10-13-03, Sprinkled some pecan morsels up there for em. Have to bribe them for pics.


Below also dated 10-13-03


Below 10-16-03 ......been trying to get a good picture of him. Finally got him to take a pecan morsel from me.


Below dated 10-18-03, Put some sunflower seeds in a dog dish on top of the nesting box. I new the mom couldn't resist em. Looks like Baldy and a sibling like them too! I'm actually standing on the ladder with my face only a few feet away for this pic.


Below is another good picture on 10-18-03


Below is another good pic of Baldy and his Mom on 10-23-03


He will even let me pet him while taking pictures now. As long as I provide the munchies of course. 10-23-03


Some hair is actually trying to grow down the back of his neck. 10-23-03


He is ignoring the pecan in favor of the sunflower seeds. You can really see the fine hair down his back in this picture. 10-23-03


Below dated 11-02-03. His hair has done some growing in the last ten days!


Below dated 11-02-03 also. Looks like he is growing a Mohawk down his back.


Another one dated 11-02-03. I've been having to use a flash to get any decent shots of him. It was late in the evening when I took these photos and we are in a heavily shaded area. The flash does'nt seem to bother him at all.


Tried to get a picture of them all huddled in the nesting box 11-09-03. It was early in the morining, and below 50 degrees, so Baldy was buried under the others for warmth. One of them had already scampered out of the nest when I opened the lid. They were not happy about me spying on them.


Below Dated 11-10-03. Finally got a picture of Baldy with a few of his room mates. His fur is really starting to grow!


11-10-03 Really good shot of his fur. Yeah!!!!!


11-10-03 His tail looks a little gnarly. Don't know if it's some sores or bite marks? His right ear is looking gnarly too.


11-10-03 No belly fur yet!


Finally giving you an update on 1-23-04.  Important new news below!
I had to move unexpectantly and I'm just getting settled in my new town. Sorry for such a long lapse in Baldy's Saga.
I was so worried about Baldy's survival through the winter that I found the little buggar a new home indoors.
But first, I must tell you that Baldy is actually a female. I should have noticed it earlier and Baldy's new keeper noticed it immediately. And if you are a stickler for noticing can tell Baldy is a female in the old picture above dated 11-10-03. I guess I should have paid closer attention. I just couldn't imagine a bald female, but I'm not changing the first part of the story, and I'm not changing her name to Baldetta. So everyone will just have to get used to Baldy being a female from here on out.
Baldy now lives indoors with a young lady by the name of Linda, and she is a wonderful squirrel rehabber. She has a blind squirrel by the name of Scarface. Baldy is his new roommate. They have a wonderfully huge indoor cage and are free to roam certain parts of the house. They have separate nesting areas in the cage and have decided to sleep separately so far.
Scarface has had several roommates over the years. Linda had just released two of Scarfaces roommates before Baldy arrived. She rehabbed the little youngsters just this past fall. I was able to photograph one of them on my visit and named her Sweetpea because she was so friendly.
 Linda has an outdoor cage with a nesting box inside. She cut a hole in the wire and put a yellow rope from a pine tree to the hole. Sweetpea sleeps inside the cage in her nesting box at night and comes and goes as she pleases durring the day.
Linda has so many wonderful squirrel stories that I can't possibly cover them here, but one really was so sweet that I must share it with you.
She rehabbed this one baby squirrel and it slept in bed with her at night. This went on until the little squirrel was old enough to be released. Well, Linda and the squirrel were so attached to each other that when it came time to release the youngster, she would leave her bedroom window cracked open at night and the little squirrel would come inside and sleep with her.
Then come morning it would go back outside. She said this went on for quite some time and then the visits started getting less frequent until the little critter decided it was time to live like a grown up squirrel. Darn those hormones.
Hope you enjoy the newpics below!!!!  Baldy is gowing hair everywhere but her tail. A true Tree Rat as Linda would say.

Picture below taken 1-17-04......Look at that hair....Yea!!!!!


Picture below taken 1-17-04....This really shows that Bald tail. Hope she grows a furry one for next winter.


Picture below taken 1-17-04.... Linda said she would release Baldy this spring.


Picture below taken 1-17-04.... Baldy just didn't want to pose today.


Picture below taken 1-17-04...Sorry I couldn't get better pics. Baldy just wouldn't cooperate.


Picture below taken 1-17-04...... This is Scarface. He shares his pad with Baldy. He has been blind since birth. He's Linda's Baby. She gives him everhing he needs, and then some.


Picture below taken 1-17-04..... Another shot of Scarface. I do wish he and Baldy would sleep in the same nesting box. I'm just glad they both have each others company.


Picture below taken 1-17-04...... This is Sweetpea. She is leaving her outside cage via the rope entrance with a treat, and stopped to pose for us. Hopefully Baldy will get to meet her this spring. Hope they get along.


Picture below taken 1-17-04... I'll have to leave you here with a parting shot of Baldy. That is the last time I got to see Baldy. The little critter finally got his/her freedom in the spring of 2004 and I'm about out of the squirrel business now. Just don't have the facilities or time any more.


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Start of new Abigail & Emily website

All the Squirrel links you will ever need, Courtesy of "The Squirrel Place".

This will link you to my blog! "Uncivil"

Another intersting site. Dean Ripa taught me to catch snakes when we were just kids. However he would probably think of my squirrels as snake food! Even if you hate snakes,You need to read his story "Degenerated Science".

This site is a little morbid, but comes in handy from time to time.

Great site for Pug Lovers.

My Hero...Cesar Millan

Great site for Bulldog Lovers!

Check out Boston Terrier on Wikipedia!