What's all that clicking going on down there?
And she's off to cut another limb.
As I watched her work, I was struck by how much I didn't know about squirrel behavior and their nest building. Question after question arose. This was driven activity. She didn't stop to scold me. She didn't make a sound. She plunged into her task with precision and focus and without a pause. My Audubon field guide says that the Eastern Gray Squirrel mates in mid-winter, that they usually den in a tree cavity in the spring but their second of the season nest may be a leaf nest. Since its early June, I suppose 'usually' is a key word here.
My observations ended when she finished her work and quietly exited on the otherside of the nest. And I'll show you why I'm so curious and wishing for some magical piece of equipment that might allow observation without intrusion. The nest is so accessible. When I took the image below, I was standing about ten feet from the tree, the nest located only about 35 feet high in an immature oak of small diameter. The nest is the dark green triangle near the top of the image.
And if I turn 45 degrees to my left or east, you see my patio. The nest is just outside my window.Most of the time we pay little attention to squirrels. They're part of the ordinary, seen almost daily and often considered a nuisance. But I developed a different perspective on their lives while observing Red-shouldered hawks. And now this nest outside my window has offered me another.