The process of drey construction in red squirrels - nestbox observations based on a hidden camera
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Metterstraße 16, D-75447 Sternenfels-Diefenbach
Lurzengasse 3, D-97236 Randersacker
Publication date: 2013-12-28
Hystrix It. J. Mamm. 2013;24(2):199–202
We present unique footage and an analysis of recorded data of a free-ranging red squirrel building its drey in February 2012 inside a nestbox fitted with a hidden camera. Drey construction occurred over a period of three days that was dominated by an initial phase of transporting material; this then shifted more and more to construction of the outer twigg-shell of the drey and to the processing of materials for the soft inner lining and core of the drey. Total construction time in terms of minutes of red squirrel presence logged was 3.6 hours. Construction occurred after a period of 4-5 days of dry weather and at temperatures that were well above 0° C. After the squirrel abandoned the drey, the dry material was explored and used by songbirds indicating the importance of accessible structures and dry construction material for other species.