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!