1. hello! here's a thread about the tiny squirrels that lived in my window in the winter of 2009. meet our protagonist.

2. a tree grew right outside my college dorm room. I'd see this critter scrambling up and down and always gave her a wave. I never named her, because she didn't belong to me. we were just neighbors.

3. squirrel started getting bold and creeping onto the sill. I had just gotten a used DSLR, and suddenly I had an eager subject. on a couple of warm days when I left the window open, she was brave enough to actually come into my room.

4. we had these weird windows that had an inside and an outside pane, with a few inches of space in between. in the cold months people would use that gap space as a cheapass beer fridge. I had happened to have the inside pane closed and the outside pane open a crack. piece by piece, she built a nest.

5. there was all kinds of junk in there: twigs, newspaper, plastic bags, a parking ticket. here she is nibbling on part of someone's homework assignment.

6. one morning, in mid-march, I woke up to a weird high-pitched peeping noise. there was something new in the nest.

7. they were way deep in there. I could only see them through a narrow gap in the nest-trash. three days old, and they were already starting to grow whiskers.

9. they didn't do much, mostly just kind of wriggle onto each other. at night mom would come in and sleep on them.

11. did you know that squirrel tails don't get fluffy until they grow up? I didn't!

12. I never actually managed to count how many there were. I rarely had a clear view of them, and they were usually scrambled up into a big pile of legs and tails. my best guess is six or seven.

13. here's what the whole situation looked like from further away. pardon my filth.

15. they were getting bigger, and it was starting to get pretty crammed in there. I'd peek in and couldn't figure out what belonged to who.

16. it looks like they're sleeping in all of these photos (and they did do a lot of that), but since their birth to this point they had never opened their eyes.

17. one month after they appeared, they started to look around.

18. they were immediately much more active, and took an interest in me. I never opened the inside pane, but at this stage it was pretty tempting.

19. and then, one day, they were gone. cleared out in the middle of the day, when I was in class, and never came back.

20. here's the last photo I took. in a few hours, they'd be ready to come out.

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@prehensile this whole thread is a beacon of joy and tenderness thank u for sharing

@prehensile I wonder if mom moved them to another, larger nesting location--it seems odd that they'd all leave the nest in a few hours on their own for outside adventures. I'd have to dig into squirrel behavior to figure that out. I know some mammals move nests fairly frequently, and with birds basically as soon as the kids are able to get out of the nest it's effectively impossible to keep them in and the parent(s) switch to "try to keep an eye on them and keep them fed while they work out how to fly" mode. this is a really interesting and very cute thread, thank you! 💚 also, may I follow you? :)

@troodon that's pretty much what I think happened. the kids were still barely able to move around on their own when they all left.

yes, you can follow me!

@prehensile @troodon Squirrels will move nests for any variety of reasons: Too small, too noisy, maybe there’s a predator that’s moved in nearby. She had probably been building a new one during the day and moved them out one by one while you were in class :) Once they are fluffy they are ready to go out into the world!

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