How Long Do Squirrels Live?The lifespan of a squirrel depends on whether it lives in captivity or in the wild. In captivity, a squirrel is protected from many of the things that could kill it and may live into its late teens or early 20s. In the wild, squirrels face many threats, such as predators or disease, and don't live as long as they do in captivity. Approximately one-quarter of all squirrels born do not survive past their first birthday, but those that remain may survive to 12 years old. On average, squirrels in the wild may live to be 6 or 7 years old.
When Do Squirrels Give Birth to Offspring?Squirrels mate twice a year, once in the winter and once in the summer. With a gestation period of about two months, squirrels typically give birth in the spring and then again in the fall. When squirrel babies are born, they have no fur and cannot see or hear. They are helpless and completely dependent on their mother. Because the mother squirrel has to find food for herself and her babies, she looks for a place to make a nest where the babies will be warm and safe from predators. Warmth is especially important for babies born in the fall as they will stay with their mothers through the winter. Human habitations often fit the bill. Tree squirrels usually end up in the attic because it is most accessible to them. An unfinished attic usually isn't heated, but between heat rising from the lower levels and the roof absorbing heat from the sun, attics tend to be warm and cozy for the baby squirrels. Squirrel babies aren't ready to start leaving the nest until they are between 1-1/2 to 2 months old, but they will stay with their mothers for a few more weeks to learn the skills they will need to survive as adults.
How Do Squirrels Die?Squirrels are small animals that can serve as prey for larger animals. Examples of squirrel predators include the following: