What is a drey?


Red squirrel drey by Jessica Haines

A drey is the name for a squirrel’s nest. You may have come across one without realizing it. A drey is usually a circular or oval-shaped clump of grasses and other soft materials, high up in the branches of a tree. Squirrels will even steal human-made materials (such as lost clothing) and weave them into their dreys. Squirrels usually build their dreys in trees, though they sometimes also tuck their drey into a hole in a tree or underground. Female squirrels have their babies in their dreys, where they are kept safe from predators and bad weather. But it isn’t just females who have dreys — male squirrels also build them. Just like people enjoy having a safe, cozy place to relax and sleep, squirrels also use their dreys for resting and sleeping.

This article originally ran in Nature Alberta Magazine - Fall 2022.