Squirrels are entertaining to watch when scampering about collecting and burying nuts all day. Have you ever stopped to wonder if they ever take time to rest? When you see a squirrel, it’s a pretty safe bet that it’s going to be up in a tree. So, where do squirrels sleep? Check out this guide to learn where you might find squirrels sleeping.
What are the 3 Types of Squirrels?
Squirrels are found on every continent on Earth except Antarctica and Australia. Science divides the over 200 squirrel species into three categories.
- Ground Squirrels
- Flying Squirrels
- Tree Squirrels
Where do Ground Squirrels Sleep?
Ground squirrels spend most of their time on the ground, rightfully so since they are named ground squirrels. Ground squirrels sleep in ground-level burrows and hibernate for the whole winter when living in a frigid climate.
When a climate is exceptionally hot or desert-like, the squirrel will estivate. Estivation is not heard of as often as Hibernation. More on estivation later.
Where do Flying Squirrels Sleep?
Even though the name implies they fly, flying squirrels don’t exactly fly.
Their web-like skin flaps on their sides give the flying squirrels the ability to glide, not fly from one tree to the next.
Flying squirrels live in tree dens. They build their shelter in the summertime using bark, grass, leaves, small twigs, and moss. However, sometimes you may see a flying squirrel sleeping on a tree branch or a hole in a tree left by a woodpecker.
Where DoTree Squirrels Sleep?
Gray, Red, and Fox squirrels are the most well-known tree squirrels.
Tree squirrels sleep in dreys or dens built high up in the trees.
Where Are The Best Squirrel Hiding Spots?
Squirrels sleep in different places depending on the season. In the winter, they look for a place to store their food and find shelter from the snow. They enjoy sleeping in bushes and shrubs that provide cover and shade in the summer. They also need to be near water, which is why some squirrels sleep in hollowed-out trees near water sources.
Squirrels love to have multiple entrances to their nests. This way, they can get out of harm’s way quickly if necessary.
3 Things a Squirrel Finds Important When Looking for a Good Hiding Spot
- whether or not it’s near water
- is it secure
- Is there a place to store food
A squirrel can lead a happier life when it has all three “amenities.”
What Does a Squirrel Nest Look Like?
A squirrel makes a drey using twigs, branches, leaves, and mosses. The drey is built high up in a tree between tree branch forks. Squirrels also sleep in tree holes made by woodpeckers or other natural elements such as weather. Dens provide more protection from weather and predators than a drey and tend to prefer shelter over a drey. To learn more about squirrel nests, visit The Ultimate Guide to Squirrel Nests.
Where Do Squirrels Sleep for Cat Naps?
Despite their lively and playful nature, much of a squirrel’s time is spent sleeping. Can you believe they sleep almost 60% of their day? A squirrel sleeps roughly 15 hours a day. Wow, that is how long my cat sleeps.
It is not uncommon for you to see a squirrel napping in the top of a birdhouse or curled up inside a cavity on a tree. If there are no holes that provide easy access into your yard, you may have seen them climbing up the side of the house!
Where Do Squirrels Sleep – in a Birdhouse or Nestbox?
It is not uncommon for you to see a squirrel napping in the top of a birdhouse or curled up inside a cavity on a tree. Squirrels love to have multiple entrances to their nests. This way, they can get out of harm’s way quickly if necessary.
Squirrels have a vital role in our forest ecosystem. The forgotten seeds buried in the ground eventually sprout into plants and trees. Have you ever thought about providing a nice warm nesting box home for such an essential animal to our environment?
There are nesting boxes available that are designed specifically for this purpose. This nesting box from Back2NatureWood is a perfect solution to offer our backyard squirrel gardeners a secure home away from predators. Their other high-quality hand-made products include squirrel feeders, birdhouses, butterfly houses, and planters. I guarantee you will not be disappointed choosing one of these products. There are over 2000 5-star reviews from Etsy buyers.
Where Do Squirrels Sleep During Hibernation & Estivation?
Where do squirrels sleep during Hibernation?
In winter, ground squirrels hibernate to store their energy for activities like having babies, caring for their young, and storing away food. Ground squirrels hibernate to reserve energy for the warmer months when they have babies, care for their young, and fill their nests with food.
During Hibernation, the squirrel’s heart rate and body temperature drops by just a few degrees warmer than the temperature outside. The squirrel may only be awake for 12-20 hours a week to help it survive the cold winter weather.
Where Do Squirrels Sleep During Estivation?
Estivation is the opposite of Hibernation. The squirrel spends most of its day underground during estivation, shielding it from the hot sun. Another way to remember estivation is to think of it as hot-weather Hibernation.
This time of inactivity (dormancy) helps them live through droughts and extreme heat and avoid overheating from daytime activity. Estivation also results in body fat accumulation to help the squirrel survive the winter.
What Time of Day is a Squirrel Active?
With all the activity that goes on around squirrels, how do they manage to get 15 hours of sleep every day?
Most squirrels with the exception of flying squirrels are crepuscular. Crepuscular means they are mainly active during the twilight period from dusk to sunset and dawn to sunrise. Tree squirrels love the sun and during warmer months you may see them busy during the day.
Squirrels not only have a busy day, but they are vital to our forest system. During the day, they scurry around building their homes, collecting nuts, seeds, acorns, and pinecones. But when the sun begins to go down, squirrels run home to their dreys (nests), dens, or nesting boxes to care for their kittens (baby squirrels) and rest for the night.