Have you ever noticed a squirrel’s nest and wondered how it stays together? This is a popular question, and rightfully so since squirrels keep their newborn offspring in the nest for safety, but they do not look so safe. So what is the secret behind a squirrels nest-building?
A squirrel’s nest is also known as a “drey,” and although their nests may look pretty shoddy, they are actually well constructed as they are made from many different materials, and not just leaves. Also, squirrels don’t always waste their time building nests when they can use one that is already made. For example, squirrels will often bypass the whole business of nest-building in order to raise their offspring in a hollowed out tree.
Squirrels are quite clever when it comes to procuring shelter. Squirrels will often find locations that already have natural support, such as vines that have been tangled into a nest, or a juncture on a tree where several branches come together to meet the trunk.
A squirrel will start building its nest by weaving together several twigs that will be used as a platform. The squirrel will then find different types of soft material, like leaves and moss, that it will use to form a cushion atop the platform of sticks. After this, the squirrel will set about creating a hard skeleton out of twigs around the mound of leaves and moss. Once this is completed the squirrel has itself an insulated shelter. This would likely keep any squirrel warm during the winter months because a study recently showed that wet leaves and moss make for better insulators than dry lining materials. It is hard for people to appreciate the complexity and inventiveness of squirrel nests. This is probably because most people only spot a squirrel nest when they are located far away from one.
Have you ever had a chance to observe a squirrel nest up close?