— by Susan Eirich, PhD — My brilliant, nearly Nobel-winning scientist father, was flummoxed by a squirrel. Squirrels are not to be taken lightly because they are small and common. We humans make that mistake often.  No matter what contraptions my father set up to foil them, they always got into the bird feeder. His frustration, and my mother’s mischievous delight in it, is a vivid childhood memory. Squirrels are so remarkable that the BBC committed its resources to doing a full hour-long documentary, where they set up an impossible obstacle course in the trees – and lost. Nugget the squirrel came to us as a five-day-old rescue having fallen out of her nest. She was found...

Baby squirrel feeding from bottle

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — Her sleek, incredibly agile body stretches to the limit in her reach for the bottle, for sustenance, for Life. Nugget, an orphaned 5-week old squirrel, wriggles and chitters in rage. It is the wrong nipple! Nothing is coming out! Her communication across species is crystal clear. She is not happy. Realizing my mistake, I change to another nipple with a larger hole. After a suspicious few sucks and initial satisfaction, she settles down to that lovely, even rhythm true to babies of all species; eyes closed, paws gripping and releasing; gripping and releasing, in rhythmic bliss. This, is heaven. This, is the whole universe....

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — Jose, our animal caretaker, approached me with something cupped gently in his large gloved hands – a tiny baby sparrow. He had found it near the coyotes and was afraid it was about to be eaten. It was fully feathered but still had that large pathetic yellow-rimmed baby mouth that young birds have. He could flutter along the ground but wasn’t quite yet able to fly. I held him for a bit while Jean went to get a bird cage. Its tiny feet clung tightly to my fingers as I cupped him to help him feel warm and secure in the dark. Still, I could feel his heart beating wildly. We put him in a small cage while I thought what to do. I knew that a large community...

Two baby moose nuzzling each other's noses

Earthfire Institute is a licensed Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. We take in native injured and orphaned wildlife native to Idaho and work closely with Idaho Fish and Game. Learn more about our wildlife rehabilitation efforts here. In June a local rancher, Charlie Cook, came across the body of a female moose 150 feet or so off the road. She had apparently been hit by a car and dragged herself off the road before she collapsed and eventually died. As he investigated her body he saw a movement out of the corner of his eye. A tiny moose baby, perhaps a week old. He called for help and with several neighbors were able to catch him. One of the neighbors, Brent, had goats and offered to care for...

Earthfire Community

Earthfire Community

Donate to Earthfire

The Earthfire Council of All Beings

Conservation Conversations

Conservation Conversations


Earthfire Retreats