It's spring so nature is coming to life again.

We're getting into the time of year when we see nests pop up in our trees (wasps' nests around our gutters, ick). It's a cute part of spring to see robins, bluebirds, or sparrows hovering around their nests outside in our yards as they lay eggs and watch over their young.

I've always assumed that a clump of leaves in a tree during the spring is always a bird's nest. Because what else is going to smush stuff together and nest up there?

Wrong. Those bundles of leaves are called a drey and they have many purposes.

What's Actually In The "Nest"


These things become kind of prime real estate for some animals. Geography Realm says that, when you see these large clumps of leaves in trees, they're often used as hideaways for squirrels.

They're kind of shaped like a saucer and shallow. They mostly hide there but they're kind of a nest for them too, since that's where they can raise their young and sleep safe. It also gives them some weather protection during the rainy spring season.

Dreys often start out as nests. But squirrels don't want to waste the useful thing that the birds made, so they add on some leaves and make it a drey for themselves. Bare branches also can't hide squirrels so they pack on the leaves too.

So if you see an influx of squirrels all over your birdfeeders this spring, look at the trees in your yard for a bundle of leaves. There's a good chance that's a drey and that's where the squirrels are coming from.

LOOK: Best counties to raise a family in Iowa

Stacker compiled a list of the best counties to raise a family in Iowa.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

Do Not Leave These 12 Items In Your Car In The Iowa Heat

It's a toasty summer. Keep your stuff safe and don't leave these items in the car.

Gallery Credit: Canva

More From B100