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What kind of nest is this?

What kind of nest is this? Large, deep, rounded with a depth of about 2 feet. Made with branches, not sticks. Very close to the ground, with a "front door"

Thank you!

Carol, Valley Center California - January 10, 2021

Curator Response

Hi Carol,

This looks like a squirrel dray to me. That is, it's a nest built by a tree squirrel that isn't a cavity nest inside a hole in a tree. Squirrel drays tend to look messier than birds' nests. As you've noticed, it has a front door. This feature isn't a good one for birds, as it would allow eggs to roll out! So most likely if this nest is active, you would see a Western Gray Squirrel or other tree squirrels visiting it.

Stay curious,

Curator of Vertebrate Zoology Krista Fahy, Ph.D.