You’re Likely Mistaking This Hungry Garden Pest’s Nest For A Bird Nest

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The quickest way to determine if a squirrel is hoarding space on your tree is to catch it in action, like watching it climb the branches to rest, especially during the winter. But if that’s not your style, look for other telltale signs. Squirrels mass together twigs, bark, moss, and leaves into an eight-inch-wide, ring-shaped drey with more mass and weight than a bird’s nest but lacking their softness. While their nests are high, they aren’t avian-level high, sitting at about 20 feet (or 30 feet if it’s a gray squirrel) for better weight support and protection from natural elements.

However, things can get tricky if these tiny mammals are lodged in a tree’s hollow that was once a pecker’s abode. If you believe this might be the case, inspect the tree’s bark for fresh markings and messy half-chewed pine cone piles, indicating a squirrel’s presence. And if you’re still doubtful, wake up early or skip the siesta and prick up your ears for a squeaky kuk-kuk-kuk or muk-muk sound.

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