Dr. Drey

It's time to flip this nest!

It’s time to flip this nest!

The common squirrel as we know it is arboreal, meaning they live in trees.  Most people are at least aware of that fact… but I was surprised to find out a couple weeks ago, when sqturday squirrel logofellow blogger Mark Bialczak wrote a post about observing squirrels’ nests in his neighborhood, that there are a good number of people who weren’t aware that squirrels build nests!  Hey, the name for this blog wasn’t just pulled out of my rear end (Like most of the content I post here was, anyway)….

Squirrels are more than willing to nest in any hollowed out portions of a tree (Or in your garage, attic, etc. if you leave that accessible to them)… but for many of our bushy tailed friends, these options are simply not available.  So among the many other instinctive talents squirrels are born with is a knack for constructing rather elaborate, well-built nests (officially called “dreys”) from pretty much anything they can get their adorable little paws on.  Check out our nest building Saturday Squirrels!

I've arrived with the materials, Boss!

I’ve arrived with the materials, Boss!

That mouthful of dead grass and twigs is fine and dandy, but you must be a newcomer to the jobsite.  Here’s how the big boys do it…

Give that squirrel a union card!

Give that squirrel a union card!

Leaves make for a nice, warm, cozy nest!  And my front and backyard have plenty of them scattered about for the squirrels to commandeer since I’m lazy I never rake.  But be careful not to overdo it…

Hey!!!  Who turned out the lights!?!?

Hey!!! Who turned out the lights!?!?

While everyone knows how busy squirrels are in autumn, they are just as busy in the spring building these nests.  And winter is the perfect time to gaze upon these masterpieces of sciurine architecture since the trees are leafless and the squirrels nests they contain stick out like a sore thumb.  You’ve undoubtedly seen them before… you just didn’t know what they were, or assumed maybe Big Bird decided to build a nest in your tree.  But now you can look up to the tops of the trees and see these leafy blobs for what they really are… the humble, paw-built home to one of your local squirrels!  Or maybe even the nest it was raised in as a pup!

Have a great weekend!  And if you’re one of the recipients of my artwork, don’t forget to post a picture of your treasure!  I’m dying to see where my other 14 friends have gone…


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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20 Responses to Dr. Drey

  1. I agree, leaves make a super nest… sadly my humans were not grateful and removed them … and if the wake up one day and are frozen to death, it is not my fault.

  2. fanrosa says:

    Hey, I learned something help no today’s! I’m glad you explained because I was wracking my brain trying to come up with a Dr. Dream song about squirrels or nests…

    I’m going to check the trees at my mom’s tomorrow morning to see if I see a nest…..

  3. markbialczak says:

    Fantastic photos of these material-collecting nest-builders, ESN. They definitely deserve their union cards for this work! You won’t find them sitting around in folding chairs on no-bid sites, either. 🙂 Thanks for the link to my photo-discovery nest post, too, my friend.

    • No prob. And it only took me two weeks to remember to post this!

      I did drop your First Loser card in the mail yesterday. Given the snail’s pace the post office is taking delivering the rest of my cards this year, you may receive it before New Years….

  4. Some of the nests around here are VERY high up in the oak trees … maybe to keep them out of the clutches of the ever-hungry bobcat? Fishers? Coyotes? Then again, maybe it’s because that’s the first proper place in the tree they can find. Hollow trees are few and far between in this neck of the woods!

    • I’ve been taking special notice of the nests this year, and they always seem to be in the highest reaches of the trees. I do think there’s some credence to the predator avoidance theory… though it would seem to make them easier pickings for a passing hawk. I’ve also noticed a number of nests built in branches that overhang a street! That’s not gonna be a soft landing for any restless squirrel who rolls out of bed….

  5. TC Conner says:

    How do you pronounce “sciurine?” Is it “sky urine?” Or “skewer reen?” I know I could use dictionary.com’s audio feature, but I’d rather hear you say it! 😛

    • I’m sure many squirrels are responsible for sky urine…

      I’m not sure how I would pronounce it if I ever said it out loud….. probably “skyurine” as in just adding the “sk” sound onto “urine”. I tend to remember oddly spelled words I need to write a lot as being pronounced as they are spelled.. so I’ve always said it “sky urr in” in my mind to reinforce the spelling… but I doubt I’d say it that way were I to work it into conversation (as if anyone would want to have a conversation with someone who uses the word sciurine….)

      • fanrosa says:

        Feel free to work it into conversation! It’s sigh-rin, with the emphasis on the first syllable (like what just folks would call a siren). I wondered the same thing a long time ago and looked it up….

  6. gentlestitches says:

    What clever hardworking critters! Great photos! 😀

  7. Scout Paget says:

    I really thought those nests in the trees belonged to some kind of bird. I am enlightened! Thanks!

  8. There was a drey in one of the trees here my first winter. We figured there were at least two squirrels in there, and it was amazing that it lasted the winter (which was cold, wet and very windy). But since then, there has been quite a lack of squirrels in the general vincinity.

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