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Squirrel Nesting

Solstice

229

BLOG UPDATE:
I changed the name of this blog to "The Forest" as it more completely categorizes my posts.

 

So first, let's start off with a little terminology. Squirrel nests are called Dreys. In case you don't want to read the whole Wikipedia article, I've summarized (albeit using copy and paste) it below.

Quote

North America, dreys begin as a collection of small, gnawed-off branches bearing green leaves. The habit of harvesting these branches well before autumn (when the leaves would naturally fall) allows the leaves – though they turn brown – to adhere tightly throughout the winter. A finished drey is a hollow sphere, about a foot or more in diameter. A drey is almost always at least 20 feet (6.1 m) above the ground, and flying squirrels build much higher. Male and female squirrels may share the same nest for short times during a breeding season, and during cold winter spells squirrels may share a drey to stay warm. However, females nest alone when pregnant. In North America, squirrels produce broods of about three "pups" twice a year.

So here is the drey I found being constructed, nestled in a birch tree (Betula lenta / Black Birch). 

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The focus is slightly off because I was busy warding off pesky mosquitoes. Sorry. :classic_sad:.

More interestingly, I managed to capture shots of the squirrel (Scuirus carolinensis / Eastern Gray Squirrel) actually building the nest. It chewed through the twigs, captured a bundle of leaves, and hauled it up to the drey. It was very systematic, and seemingly efficient at its work.

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If this is a "live" nest (not a reserve nest), it will be interesting to see these squirrels through the rest of the year, and maybe even winter. Anyways, that's all for now, hope you'll enjoy! :classic_smile:.

 

 

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Thanks Solstice! I hope you can keep us updated on the drey! Weather has such a huge effect on wildlife...I've been keeping a close eye on my chipmunk and squirrel populations with all this rain. I fear quite a few chippies did not survive, but the squirrels seem just fine! 😊

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I didn’t realize they were constructing nests this time of year, but that would explain the small snipped leafed  branches that I’ve been finding on the ground lately.

Thanks for the info.

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Great read! I have seen this behavior in my yard as well. It seems to have picked up during the breaks from the rain. You have inspired me to keep track of our squirrels this season. 

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On 8/13/2018 at 11:46 AM, lynniethelurker said:

Thanks Solstice! I hope you can keep us updated on the drey! Weather has such a huge effect on wildlife...I've been keeping a close eye on my chipmunk and squirrel populations with all this rain. I fear quite a few chippies did not survive, but the squirrels seem just fine! 😊

 

On 8/13/2018 at 3:40 PM, Hiramite said:

I didn’t realize they were constructing nests this time of year, but that would explain the small snipped leafed  branches that I’ve been finding on the ground lately.

Thanks for the info.

 

1 hour ago, ivyrain said:

Great read! I have seen this behavior in my yard as well. It seems to have picked up during the breaks from the rain. You have inspired me to keep track of our squirrels this season. 

 

Thanks all! :classic_smile:.

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