ve.emery's picture

Red squirrel drey 2.11.11

Observed: 2nd November 2011 By: ve.emery
S159 Neighbourhood Nature - course complete
ve.emery’s reputation in Mammals
red squirrel drey 2.11.11

The bundle of twigs, with a circular entrance hole was approximately 45 cms at it widest point - difficult to be accurate because it was quite high. It was about 08.00, overcase and rather windy. Plenty of bird song, though few birds seen and no evidence of squirrel activity. I have never seen a squirrel's drey before and would like confirmation that I am correct.

  • Red squirrel drey ( Drey of Sciuris vulgaris)
    Confidence: I'm as sure as I can be.
    ID agreements (): 2 People
    • jja28
      S159 Neighbourhood Nature - course complete
      jja28’s reputation in Mammalsjja28’s reputation in Mammals
    • the naturalist man
      The Mammal SocietyYorkshire Naturalists' Union
      Mammals expert
    Likely ID
    Witch's Broom (Taphrina sp)
    Confidence: It might be this.
    ID agreements (): 1 Person
    • the naturalist man
      The Mammal SocietyYorkshire Naturalists' Union
      Mammals expert
Species interactions

No interactions present.


ve.emery's picture

Witch's broom

Thank you, I hadn't considered it because of the 'burrow', but it's certainly a possibility.

the naturalist man's picture

Opportunistic squirrel

Interesting observation. A squirrel's drey is usually built in the crook of two sturdy boughs; however, this does not appear to be so. Therefore, I think it is witch's broom - but clearly something has burrowed into it, a bird could not do this so it must have been a squirrel.

Hence, you are both right and we appear to have an example of an opportunistic squirrel! If you can go back and watch it for a while, squirrels are very active at this time of the year and you are likely to be able to confirm if it is still in use. I suspect it is otherwise this year's 'growth' would have covered up the hole.

Graham Banwell

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ve.emery's picture

squirrel's drey

Thank you. I have been back several times along the same path and have see several squirrels in the woods but none actually on the tree. I will keep watching.

Refugee's picture


It may be that small birds are roosting in it on cold winter nights. That would explain the lack of daytime activity.