Why do squirrels build nests?

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When you look up at the trees and see nests of sticks and leaves, you may think they’re for the birds. But think again! Did you know that squirrels also build nests? Squirrel nests are called dreys, and they are made of woven twigs and leaves, then lined with soft material, such as feathers and grass. Dreys are built high enough in the trees to keep the squirrels safe from predators, but low enough so they can withstand high winds. 

Squirrels also live in nests called dens, which are built in the hollow holes of trees. These types of nests provide the best protection from wet and windy weather! As you may have guessed, squirrels build nests for shelter, which is especially important during the winter. In fact, squirrels sometimes share nests during this time so they can keep warm together. 

Squirrels may also share nests when it’s time find a mate. These nests then become safe places for squirrel mothers to nurse their babies, who need lots of care during the first weeks of their lives. Since squirrel babies are tiny, hairless and still developing their sight and hearing when they’re born, it is important for them to have a protected place to grow before it’s time to explore the world!

by   (whyzz writer)
  • Further information

    Did you know that squirrels sometimes have more than one nest?! While they may spend most of their time in their main nest, smaller nests can be places for squirrels to take shelter when they are on the go yet needing to hide from predators. These extra nests can also be places for squirrels to temporarily stay when food is scarce around the main nest and searching new territory is necessary.

  • Exploration

    On your next walk, see if you can view a few squirrel nests. Spotting dreys is easy to do in the fall and winter, when the leaves have fallen from the trees. These squirrel nests may look like clumps of dead leaves resting in the branches above. In the spring, you may even see baby squirrels peeking out of dens in tree trunks! Remember never to disturb a squirrel nest“”this important shelter must remain safe and protected.
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