Sunday, November 18, 2012

Flying Squirrels and Hornet's Nests

 Summer's hornet's nests become visible at this time of year when the leaves have fallen.  They are fairly common.  This morning I discovered this one on Springbrook's hiking trail.  It is about 30 feet high in an aspen tree.

The bottom part of the nest had fallen off and was on the ground beneath it.  Not unusual, since woodpeckers, Chickadees, and other hungry animals rip holes in the nest to eat the wasp larvae and pupae that remain after the adult wasps die from cold and lack of flower nectar food.

 But this piece of nest was different.  In the middle of what had been the bottom of the nest was a pile of Flying Squirrel droppings, a few sprigs of moss, and Flying Squirrel hair. 
A Flying Squirrel latrine high in the tree tops.  Perhaps it or they were living in the top of the nest.  Something I have never heard of.  But nature is full of surprises.

Notice the droppings to lower left, hair to lower right, and moss at top.

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