Squirrels build nests to protect their babies from predator attacks and harsh weather conditions. The timing differs according to their specific species and their location.
What Time of Year Do Squirrels Build Nests? Squirrels build their nest in late summer, like in June and July, and early fall months. They do this for winter preparation, breeding season, food storage, making territory, protection from predators, and resting purpose. However, it depends on the reproduction cycle, type of species, available resources, and weather.
Male and female squirrels of different ages participate equally in nest construction during this period. However, they have engaged in repairing and maintenance procedures throughout the years because of disturbances from harsh weather.
Why do squirrels build nests in late summer and early fall?
They build their nest in late summer and in early fall because of the favorable temperature and availability of enough resources for their construction.
Preparation for winters
They usually build their nest in early fall to prepare them for winter. These animals remain less active in cold weather because it is not good for survival.
They cannot maintain their body temperature or survive in areas that have extremely low temperatures. They love warm and insulated environments in cold weather to regulate their body temperature.
Squirrels construct their dreys before the arrival of winter so they can seek shelter in warm and cozy places. They do not come out in cold weather because of the limited food sources and extremely low temperatures.
Grass, leaves, moss, and tree barks make the interior well-insulated, and cold air cannot come inside.
The breeding and mating season of the squirrels comes twice a year. The mating season comes in winter and the month of December to February. In addition, it also comes in late summer, that is, from June to August.
The gestation period of female squirrels lasts for 38 to 46 days; after that, they give birth to their babies. The female species give birth to their young ones in February and August, depending on their mating time in specific seasons.
These animals build their nest in late summer and early fall to protect their babies. They do this to protect their babies from the predator’s attack.
These are smaller and cannot show gestures to alert their mothers when they find someone near them. Therefore, their mothers are responsible for their protection till they become young.
Mother squirrels do not take them out and provide them with enough food sources for their growth.
These animals construct their nests in the early fall season for food storage. Food resources become scarce in winter, and these animals become less active.
Squirrels remain highly active in late summers for food foraging to store them for survival in cold weather. They store enough nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and insects to consume them in cold weather to meet their energy needs.
They store their food in their nests to protect them from harsh weather and reduce spoilage. Moreover, it is also necessary to protect the stored foods from other insects.
Mark their territory
They also build nests in the breeding season to mark their territory so other squirrels cannot come there. The territory marking also shows their dominance in their habitat.
The territory marking is necessary to alert their other species so they cannot come there. It shows that the nesting area is already occupied, and you cannot make new in this specific place.
What factors affect the nest-building time of squirrels?
The nest-building time of the squirrels is not the same, depending on various factors. All of their species do not construct them in June and July and before winter.
It depends on their reproduction time which is not the same for all their species. These are the safe places for their babies and food storage.
It directly depends on their mating and breeding season. In addition, the availability of sources and safe places also greatly influences.
They only build nests when they find enough food resources and construction materials for safe shelter. They use twigs and leaves for their construction which are not available abundantly all the time.
These are available in the late fall season because trees shed their leaves in this season. They use these old twigs and leaves for construction purposes.
Weather conditions in their surrounding environment have a great impact on their lives. They remain more active during mid-fall and engage in different activities because of the mild temperature.
Temperature is not cold and extremely hot in this season, and they can perform various activities for the protection of their babies and food storage.
Do squirrels make nests in houses?
They usually make nests in houses and human shelter places because of the weather conditions and safe places for their shelters.
Gray squirrels do this because they construct their dreys in human structures. They think that these are safer places for shelters instead of wild environments.
In addition, the threat of predator attack is less in human places relative to the wild areas. Moreover, they seek shelter in attic areas of your home because of the good insulation.
They love to reside in attic areas of your home in cold weather because of the insulation material that provides them warm environment. I saw the large clump of trees and twigs in the attic area of my home, which is hollow from the inside.
These also seek shelter on the exterior walls of your home in the summer.
Should you remove the squirrel nest from the tree?
I do not remove their nest from the trees because it can put the life of their young ones at risk. In addition, it can also cause their death which can make the mothers sad and depressed.
You can remove the squirrel dreys from your lawn trees because these can create a mess on the ground surface. They use trees, bark, and twigs for their dreys construction, which can also fall on the ground surface and increase clutter.
It is better to contact the tree service company in your area for their safe removal.
Moreover, I recommend them to remove them in the late fall season. These animals seek new nesting places in late fall because of the falling of trees and branches.
What does a squirrel nest look like?
Squirrel’s nest resembles a large clump of irregular leaves and twigs. It is hollow and has a larger diameter for shelter and food storage.
They keep their babies inside to protect them from potential threats and predators. These animals usually construct their dreys high on the trees so predators cannot assess them.
The exterior is properly insulated and has proper support so harsh weather conditions cannot disturb them. They construct the exterior by weaving leaves and shreds of bark.
Moreover, they also use grass and moss to make the exterior thick and well-insulated.
Do squirrels use the same nest every year?
They reuse their nest, and gray squirrels are common for this. These animals have a life span of a few years, so other colony members occupy the free nesting places.
In addition, the reuse of the squirrel dreys depends on various factors. These are made of twigs and leaves, so in harsh weather conditions, predators attack, and storms can disturb them.
You cannot reuse them every year if their structure is compromised.
Different sites are in their habitat so they can seek shelter and protect their young ones. They can also reuse it next year if there is no parasitic infestation in it.