April 6th
Understanding Baby Wildlife As They Grow Up

As the spring season arrives in Southern Ontario, many residents are excited about the burst in wildlife activity. Whether you’re taking a hike or enjoying the view of your backyard with your morning coffee, you are likely to spot baby wildlife as they begin to navigate the world alongside their mothers. Much like us humans, wildlife mothers help their babies to grow and live on their own. However, each species follows a different timeline and habits that help them raise their young to become independent.


Raccoon babies are born between the first weeks of February and into the last weeks of July, however Kitchener residents won’t be able to spot them until six weeks later when they can finally emerge from their den. These furry little creatures are not able to open their eyes for the first three weeks of their lives, and another week to two weeks before they can begin to stand and move around their den. This means baby raccoons are completely dependent on their mother’s care as they grow.

Baby raccoons explore the world as a family, and will learn to forage and explore alongside their mother and siblings. Despite being nocturnal creatures, baby raccoons are not born with their nocturnal habits, which is why many Kitchener homeowners may spot the little masked creatures out during the day as they forage and explore under the watchful eye of their mother. As a close knit family unit, baby raccoons will stay with their mother for up to one year after their birth.


Baby rabbits arrive between March and May, once the warmth of spring has finally melted away the last traces of snow. Rabbit mothers will create a den for their young in the newly thawed lawns in Kitchener backyards, covering their babies with dried grass and leaves to hide their presence. Baby rabbits are much more independent than their baby raccoon neighbours. At the young age of three weeks, baby rabbits are able to hop and jump around on their own, looking for food without the help of their mother. During this time, many people believe the baby rabbit they find is orphaned, when in fact they are just begging to explore the world on their own.

For the first several weeks of their lives, baby rabbits are extremely fragile and vulnerable. Lawnmowers, pets, and other species of wildlife that wander through the yard are a threat to their survival. Be sure to always complete a thorough inspection of your lawn before you start cutting the grass to ensure baby rabbits are not tucked away in the ground.


Baby skunks may not be as openly invited into your backyard as baby rabbits are, but these small striped animals are some of the most adorable wildlife babies you can spot in the community. Arriving between April and June, baby skunks are completely dependent on their mother for the first six weeks of their lives. At this time they are deaf and blind, and spend their days resting inside their burrow, which is often made under the decks and sheds of Kitchener backyards. Mother skunks will nurse them until they are able to find food on their own.

Similar to their nocturnal raccoon friends, baby skunks are born without their nocturnal habits, which is why many residents may spot them out during the day as they learn to dig for grubs in the ground. Young skunks will continue to forage and grow alongside their mother until the arrival of fall, when they will venture on their own for the first time and find a place to den.


Unlike the other wildlife species, squirrels give birth to two litters throughout the year, which gives Kitchener residents double the opportunity to spot the young squirrels as they grow. A mother squirrel’s first litter arrives between February and April, and the second is born during late summer. Whether the litter arrives in the spring or summer, every squirrel baby is born hairless, blind and dependent on their mother. Their ability to see comes after about a month, and by eight weeks their hair has grown and they are able to leave the den for the first time.

Although they can leave the nest on their own, baby squirrels still have a lot of survival skills to learn. This is why they will spend several weeks with their mother as they are taught how to forage, store food and avoid predators until they are fully weaned from the nest, around 10 weeks after birth. Squirrels reach adulthood at nine months of age.

The young wildlife that are taking their first steps this spring use our community and backyards as a place to grow and learn. The best thing you can do for local wildlife is to give them the space they need to thrive. If wildlife have made their way into your home, the safest option for the animals and yourselves is to choose a humane wildlife removal company like Skedaddle that prioritizes wildlife safety and keeping family units together. By keeping your distance you not only protect yourself, but also create an environment where young wildlife can live safely.