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Louisiana is famous for being a "Sportsman's Paradise."  So it shouldn't be a big surprise to see evidence of wildlife just about every place you look.  But sometimes, some of those signs might not point to what you think.

One thing our area is blessed with is an abundance of trees.  A quick look at a Google Maps satellite view shows you just how green our area really is.   And the benefits of trees can't be overstated.

Google Maps
Google Maps

Benefits of Trees

According to the Arbor Day Foundation:

Trees play a critical role in creating healthier, safer, and more connected communities. They clean our air, filter our water, and even slow storm surge and flooding in our cities. Trees also provide shade and cool our cities by up to 10 degrees, which can help prevent heat-related deaths in urban areas. 


Trees also provide home and shelter to a wide variety of wildlife.  Of course, in addition to birds, trees provide home and shelter to raccoons, possums, frogs, insects, and of course, squirrels.

Which brings us to those large balls of leaves you might have noticed in our abundance of trees and might have thought they were some type of birds nest.  But chances are, it isn't.  What you're seeing is more likely a drey.

What are Dreys?

A drey is simply a squirrel's nest.  A drey is made up of branches, moss, pine needles, and leaves, and is usually built near the trunk of the tree, or in the fork of limbs, for support.

BBC Earth/YouTube
BBC Earth/YouTube

Dreys are built for protection for the squirrel, especially during the colder weather, as well as safety for the squirrel's young.  According to Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries, there are two types of squirrel that call Louisiana home.  They are "Gray" and "Fox" squirrels.

Betfred British Masters hosted by Sir Nick Faldo 2023 - Day Two
Gray Squirrel/Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images
CME Group Tour Championship - Round Two
Fox Squirrel/Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

Of course, in Louisiana, this is probably not new information in the Sportman's Paradise.  Squirrel hunters are probably saying.. "Well.. duh!"


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