Identifying wildlife nests left across East Multnomah County
As the leaves fall and trees are left bare, you will start to notice nests in branches across the community.
From squirrel hideaways to crow perches, here are some of the wildlife nests you can spot right now while walking in the community:
- Dreys (squirrel nests) — These nests are made from clumped-together leaves, twigs, bark, moss and other compressed materials. They resemble small, round bulbs bunched together in a tight sphere. Squirrels often build dreys into tree cavities or around tree branches that are 20-feet or higher. They will nest-build in June and July, with mothers teaching spring-born young how to construct dreys. The dreys are still in use this time of the year, and you may spot a squirrel scurrying into one.
- American robin nests (or other small birds) — Robins will build bowl-shaped nests in bushes, trees or under the eaves of buildings — between 5 and 25 feet off the ground. The nests are usually 6 inches across and 4 to 6 inches high, large enough to hold a baseball. Female robins often take on the responsibility for building the nest of twigs and mud, lining it with dry grass. Sometimes the nests will include a string or ribbon collected by the birds, or moss and lichen.
- Crow nests — True to the nautical term for a lookout in the mast of a ship, crow nests are often found high up in towering trees. They resemble dreys in size, but are instead made mostly of pencil-width twigs. A crow's nest usually is 1.5 feet across and 8-10 inches deep, and will be lined with soft materials like grass, moss, flowers, paper or fur. The nests will vary in height and location, but often can be found in the crooks of tree limbs, close the trunk in the upper third of trees. Both male and female crows work together to build the nest. One of the best places to see them is Gresham Town Fair shopping center, in the trees scattered across the parking lot.
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