Some Squirrel Words

By | January 3, 2018

Unique Squirrel-Related Words

Did you get Word-A-Day-Calendar as a stocking-stuffer or pick one up for yourself to start the New Year?  You probably didn’t but, no lie, they’re pretty cool.  There are so many words!

Today, we’re going to start the New Year off by giving readers some “word power” concerning squirrels.  Knowing these terms will help you understand squirrel biology better and elevate your SCRABBLE game.

Here are our three top squirrel-related words for 2018:

  • Drey
  • Midden
  • Patagium

If you already know these squirrel terms, we’re impressed.  Your squirrel vocabulary is in great shape.  And, don’t worry, we don’t think your pretentious if you drop one of them them in conversation.

But, if you’re unfamiliar with these squirrel related terms, you are definitely in the majority.  Read on and we’ll explain each.

What is a Drey?

Simply defined, a drey is a squirrel’s nest.

squirrel dreyTo be a little more nuanced, however, a drey is a nest made of leaves, twigs, etc. that is visible in the crook of a tree.  Thus, a squirrel’s nest made in a cavity of a tree would not properly be referred to as a drey.

In our area, gray squirrels make up most of the dreys visible in our neighborhoods.

January is a great time to notice squirrel dreys as they are easy to spot.  If you’re dog walking route takes you past any large oak trees, dreys are likely visible.  Here is an example to the left.

From an animal removal standpoint, dreys in trees are good things for homeowners.  It means that there is adequate habitat in the area for gray squirrels and they are not establishing nests in people’s attics.

Squirrel nests in your home here in the Akron, Canton, Kent area is where we come in.

What is a Squirrel Midden?

Midden is a word that is not applied exclusively to squirrels.

Midden is usually defined as a refuse heap or even a dunghill and is used in the field of archaeology referring to places where prehistoric peoples dumped discarded foodstuffs like shells and bones.

When applied to squirrels, a midden refers to the pile of nuts and nut debris where red squirrels cache and eat their food.

Specifically, this behavior of storing nuts in a big pile and then eating at this storage pile is a behavior of the red squirrel.

Finding evidence of a midden lets us know right away that red squirrels are the problem.  In this video, Ryan shares an inspection where a midden was found.

These red squirrels were caching walnuts behind the siding up in the walls. But, they also make piles of nuts in attics.

The trick for an animal removal specialist and homeowners who’ve found a midden is to not let the red squirrels make you nuts too.:)

What is a Patagium?

flying squirrel on wallPatagium is our fanciest word for this post.  It refers to the flap of loose skin that extends down the side of a flying squirrel from its wrist to its ankle.

It also refers to any skin membrane used for flight or gliding like that of bats’ wings or some lizard species.

For the flying squirrel, the patagium is the skin membrane that increases its surface area, provides air resistance, and helps the flying squirrel glide.

While we don’t have an action shot of flying squirrel mid-glide with its patagia on full display, you can hopefully see these membranes on the squirrel to the right.

The black stripe with white fur below running from its arm to its foot marks where this skin flap is.  The flying squirrel is our only species of squirrel that has this specialized skin membrane.

Squirrel Knowledge:  More Than Words

One of the purposes of our blog is to inform readers about all kinds of issues related to the nuisance wildlife species we deal with here in Northeast Ohio.  We’ve never given a vocabulary lesson like this, but it’s been fun.

We realize, however, that knowledge of squirrel words doesn’t really matter to most people with a squirrel problem; they just want the squirrels out!

If that describes you, you’re in luck.

Whether it be gray squirrels, fox squirrels, red squirrels, or flying squirrels we have more than vocabulary to deal with your squirrel problem.  That’s because we have lots of experience removing all of these types of squirrels and keeping them out.

If you are interested in our squirrel removal services please give us a call,

Call Today!

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