Raccoons are usually born in the spring. In our part of the country that means early- to mid-April. The mothers start bringing the young with them on their nightly outings at around 10 to 12 weeks of age. This means the babies usually start showing up on our deck in early July.
But this cute little guy first showed up, with his mother and 3 siblings, in late September. His mother is probably a yearling. Yearling females sometimes don't find a mate till later in the year, and therefore some new babies can still show up in the fall. But the babies grow fast, and our winters are mild, so this guy should have no problem surviving his first winter.
These babies were found by my brother, Norman Wittler. They are quite young, maybe 3 weeks or less, because they don't have their eyes open yet. Raccoons, like dogs and cats and many other mammals, are born with their eyes tightly closed. Their eyes continue to develop after birth, and will open when they are completely developed. Another sign of their youth is the rather blunt snout. As they grow, this will become the more pointed, triangular shape we are familiar with.
Unfortunately something has happened to the mother of these babies and they are orphans. Fortunately my bother was able to find someone who could raise these babies and re-release them to the wild. This is quite a commitment because, like human babies, they will need to be fed about every 4-5 hours at this early age. (See Remo Coon's excellent site for a page about raising baby raccoons, but also be aware that raccoons, even babies, can be infected with rabies, so adopting wild raccoons is dangerous and also illegal in many states.)
The last report I got on these babies was that they were weaned, and are being allowed to explore the wild areas around their adoptive home. Hopefully they will continue doing well.
Note: Raccoon coloration can vary quite a lot, from reddish brown to gray to almost black. These babies show a quite red coloration while the raccoons in our area show more gray, and we live only about 70 miles away from my brother. (To see even more color variations visit Damon's Den.)
noted, all text and images Copyright © 1999 David Wittler