Grey Squirrel Nesting


Take a nature break and check out this squirrel collecting nesting material. Local tracker Kim Cabrera, from Beartracker Nature Films, gathered video from game cams to give us a glimpse of how this little mammal gathered and moved bark to create its nest.

Cabrera takes us into our local forests and points out a pile of bark at the base of a tree. She knows what caused it. “A western gray squirrel has been harvesting the bark of this redwood tree for nest material,”said Cabrera. “The bark is very fibrous and makes perfect soft nest material.”

Later, she shows how the work of the squirrel is different from other animals such as that of a deer rubbing its antlers against a tree trunk. The video is a mini-lesson on how to see the traces animals leave of their lives in the world around us.

Cabrera makes regular videos on nature. Here are a few of our favorites that she’s shared with us before:

Western grey squirrel

Western grey squirrel [Photo by By HomeinSalem]



  • unbridled phillistine

    Man! I saw the fattest Squirrel on the bed of my pickup truck when I got closer to see, The poor thing was completely blind! Hes still around and looks healthy..Very cool that he can survive so well being handicapped and what not.

  • What tipped you off that it is blind?

    • Clouded over eyes maybe, or some other observation signaling the animal’s lack of vision!!!???

    • unbridled phillistine

      Poor squirrel eyes were clouded over completely when I walked up close turned around and ran directly into my toolbox. Blind as a bat.

  • Your site has great photos. The sohum Independent, the free newspaper, as well…their covershots are great. Quality photographers ’round here.

  • They seem to like certain trees Only…. any idea?

    • Hello Covelo or busted, They do prefer certain species of trees. The ones with the easily shredded, more fibrous bark are preferred. They will use other materials too, even leaves. But they avoid trees where the bark is too hard, like oaks. Also, in a particular area of forest, they will choose some redwoods over others.

  • Tree chicken!

  • I have a question for Kim if she sees this. I have positively identified cat tracks recently. They are approx 3 1/2″ both length and width. I’m pretty sure I’m also seeing a 2nd smaller set approx 1 1/2″ in size. I’m curious as to how big the cats might be and if a mother and it’s cub would be together at this time of year.

    • Seen these a few days ago while out in the woods

      • CoveTroll – Those are cougar tracks. Nice that they are next to the deer (prey) tracks in the photo. Good find! I have seen their tracks at Black Sands Beach in the past.

    • Adam Harrold, the cubs generally stay with the mother for about 18 to 24 months. At this age, they would be nearly adult size. They can be born any time of year, but most are born during the summer months. (About June – Aug.) If a cub was born late in the year 2017, it could still be small at this time of year. That could account for the smaller tracks accompanying the larger ones you saw. At that size (over 3 inches), they are too big for bobcat, so cougar is the choice for those cat tracks.

      • Thanks Kim! I always like your videos and your site helped me with the track ID.
        I suspect this rain will smooth the river bar to show new tracks well. I’m going to go without the dogs and see if I can better figure out who’s visiting.

        • Adam Harrold – I bet there will be lots of tracks after the rain. That’s always the best time to go tracking around here. Good luck! Glad you like the web site.

  • Not that long ago, (well, I guess that’s relative) local people used ground up Redwood bark for insulation in their attic. It insulates and is fire resistant. Maybe they learned it from Gray Squirrels.

  • gunther – I think you are right. The squirrels taught us humans about the insulation in the bark.

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