Sparky Squirrel

You found the online drey of Sparky Squirrel which is maintained by “The Squirrel Whisperers”. A couple who adores watching the antics of Sparky and her friends.

It all began during the summer of the Covid-19 pandemic. We were sheltering at home in our drey, just like everyone else; when a hurricane rolled through and set the coatings on the power lines above the weeping willow tree supporting our drey. The dripping fiery residue came into the drey and caused a fire. I was tiny and blind at the time, but I think in their last act of love, my parents managed to toss me from the nest before being burned alive. I hit the ground, blind, banged up, and afraid. I cried and screamed because I didn’t know what else to do. Fortunately, a kind human heard me before anything more nefarious like a cat, raptor, or other critter who would swallow me for lunch.

The human picked me up, cleaned me up, got me warm, sheltered me, fed me, bathed me, and managed to get me restored to good health and back into the wild where I belong so I could continue my line and have my own family. No doubt, mistakes were made by the human, after all, the human is not a squirrel and could not know how to teach me how to be a squirrel. You see, Squirrels may be considered rodents by some, nuisances by others or remind some of hamsters, rats, sugar gliders, mice or other cute little furry critters, but I will have you know that Squirrels are unique compared to all of those other types of animals.

Now, clearly I am biased to Squirrels because I am a Squirrel and know first hand what gifts have been bestowed upon me by my creator, but many humans are not aware of this, so thankfully my adopted human family have taken the time to learn and share via this page. The first thing to understand is that Squirrels are meant to be wild. We should not be raised alone in a cage because we need the oversight and instruction on how to find food, how to protect ourselves, how to build our dreys, and how to avoid danger. Sadly, not all humans are as nice as those who helped me, so it is best to teach Squirrels to avoid direct human contact as well as contact with domesticated pets.

My humans did the best they could with me, but they did make some mistakes. For example, putting a vest on met to keep track of me actually put me at risk for being singled out by other predators. In addition, it increased the risk of getting snagged on something while engaging in my tree top or roof top acrobatics, so please do not release a squirrel into the wild with clothing. It may look cute, but it can cause the squirrel its life and no amount of cuteness is worth that price.

If you are going to feed us, please take the time to understand what is actually good for us to consume, because some of what is marketed in the store is the equivalent of a highly unhealthy fast food diet. To that point, there is a group of humans who love Squirrels and they maintain a website known as “The Squirrel Board” where detailed instructions about feeding and care can be found in the forums. That said, it is always best to check what is written with an experienced wildlife vet and an experienced rehabilitator.

The following was prepared by Jack D. Gill and posted on the Nutrition Forum on the Squirrel Board. It should still be verified with your wildlife vet or rehabilitator, but it is a good starting point for a conversation.

Fruits and Vegetables

The Good The Fair Getting Risky 
Food   Ca:Phos Mg/100gCa:PhosFood   Ca:Phos Mg/100gCa:PhosFood   Ca:Phos Mg/100gCa:Phos
Collard Greens          145:1014.5:1.0Beans, Green               37:381.0:1.0Persimmon                       8:171:0:2.1
Papaya                           24:54.8:1.0Kiwi                               34:34               1.0:1.0Pumpkin*                        21:441.0:2.1
Turnip Greens*          190:424.5:1.0Carrots                          33:351.0:1.1Asparagus                     24:521.0:2.2
Kumquat                      62:193.3:1.0Lettuce, Iceberg           18:201.0:1.1Guava                             18:401.0:2.2
Aragula                      160:52 3.1:1.0Mango                           10:111.0:1.1Tomatoes, Green           13:281.0:2.2
Beet Greens               117:412.9:1.0Pear                                9:111.0:1.2Pepper, Banana             14:321.0:2.3
Orange                         40:142.9:1.0Peas, Snow/Sugar         43:531.0:1.2Tomatoes                       10:241.0:2.4
Dandelion Grns         187:662.8:1.0Raspberries                   25:291.0:1.2Beets                              16:401.0:2.5
Cabbage, Chin.          105:372.8:1.0Rutabaga                       47:581.0:1.2Squash, Summer (yellow, zucchini)                         15:381.0:2.5
Mustard Greens         103:432.4:1.0Onions, Mature              23:291.0:1.3Plums                                6:161.0:2.7
Kale*                           135:562.4:1.0Radishes                        25:201.0:1.3Pomegranite                      3:81.0:2.7
Parsley                       138:582.4:1.0Broccoli                         47:661.0:1.4Eggplant                            9:251.0:2.8
Spinach                        99:492.0:1.0Cabbage, Green            40:261.0:1.5Peaches                            6:201.0:3.3
Watercress                 120:602.0:1.0Cucumber                      14:211.0:1.5Pepper, Red Swt.             7:261.0:3.7
  Strawberries                  16:241.0:1.5Avocado                          12:521.0:4.3
Onions, Green             72:371.9:1.0Brussel Sprouts            42:691.0:1.6Peas, Green                  25:1081:0:4.3
Tangerine                     37:201.9:1.0Cherries, Bing               13:211.0:1.6Banana                              5:221.0:4.4
Endive/Romaine          62:351.8:1.0Cranberries                     8:131.0:1.6Potato                              12:571.0:4.8
Lettuce, Romaine        62:351.8:1.0Potato, Sweet*               30:471.0:1.6Artichoke                        14:78 1.0:5.6
Celery                           40:241.7:1.0Watermelon                     7:111.0:1.6Passion Fruit                  12:681.0:5.7
Leeks                            59:351.7:1.0Cantaloupe                      9:151.0:1.7  
Pineapple                       13:81.6:1.0Apple                                6:111.0:1.8The Evil 
Cabbage, Red              45:301.5:1.0Apricots                         13:231.0:1.8Corn, Dried Yellow*      25:3441.0:13.8
Grapefruit                       12:81.5:1.0Honeydew                       6:111.0:1.8Mushrooms                      3:861.0:28.7
Cilantro/Coriander       67:481.4:1.0Kohlrabi                        24:461.0:1.9Corn, Raw*                       2:89  1:0:44.5
Blackberries                 29:221.3:1.0Blueberries                     6:121.0:2.0  
Okra*                             81:631.3:1.0Cauliflower                    22:441.0:2.0  
Lettuce, Green Lf*        36:291.2:1.0Grapes                        10:201.0:2.0  
Squash, Winter (pmpkin, acrn, buttrnut, Hubbard)           28:231.2:1.0Parsnips*                     36:711.0:2.0  
Chard                             51:461.1:1.0Pepper, Green Swt.       10:201:0:2.0  
Cherries, Red                16:151.1:1.0    
Lettuce, Bibb                 35:331.1:1.0    
Turnips                           30:271.1:1.0  Huckleberry      No data 

Nuts and Seeds

Food   Ca:Phos Mg/100gCa:PhosFoodCa:PhosFoodCa:Phos
The Good Getting Risky The Poor/Evil 
Sesame seed, whole 975:6291.6:1.0Chestnut, roasted       29:1071.0:5.9Cashews                   43:5311.0:12.3
The Tolerable Peanuts, roasted        88:5171.0:5.9Sunflower Sd (roast) 87:11391.0:13.1
Almonds, roasted      291:4661.0:1.6Sesame Seed, toastd  31:7741.0:5.9Pumpkin Seed (unr)  43:11741.0:27
Hazelnut                     114:1901.0:1.7Peanut Butter             43:3581.0:8.3Pumpkin Seed, roast 43:11721.0:27
Almonds, unroast     264:4841.0:1.8Sunflower Seed (unr) 78:6601.0:8.5Pine Nut                       16:5751.0:35.9
Acorn, Raw*                  41:791.0:1.9    
Acorn, Dried*              54:1031.0:1.9    
Macademia                 70:198    1.0:2.8  Hickory Nut    (no data) 
Walnut                          98:3461.0:3.5    
Pecan                           70:2771.0:4.0    
Brazil Nut                   160:725   1.0:4.5    

Naturally, as a thank you, I decided to share my babies with the Squirrel Whisperers by using the nesting box, food and water they generously provided for a broke, single mother. Sadly, yes I fell for a line and was left raising two boys and two girls without any help from their deadbeat dad. Fortunately, my favorite humans stepped up to fill the roles of grandma and grandpa and they helped me with every challenge.

Now the babies and I are back to wandering the tree tops and yards where we interact with other squirrels, build additional dreys, and still visit the squirrel whisperers. We are grateful for their kindness and hope our antics and photos spread and inspire joy and goodwill.