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Elk Head CONSERVATION
Native fish, wildlife and their habitat
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Naturescaping: Tree Squirrel Nesting Boxes
Western Gray Squirrel
Western Gray Squirrel
-Photo by Kathy Munsel-

The tree squirrels of Oregon are dependant on natural tree cavities for nesting sites and winter homes. Where these natural areas have been reduced or eliminated, squirrels can now enjoy and artificial custom home, built by man and placed in a desirable location. In many instances the housing shortage for squirrels is already apparent, as these little animals are occupying artificial nest boxes placed for the wood duck, also a tree nester. The shortage has led to the design of this artificial home to be placed in trees for squirrel use. Nesting boxes should not be placed in urban environments that could encourage use by invasive nonnative species of squirrels.

Suggestions for Placing

1. Nesting box may be placed in a tree. It should be at least 10 feet above ground and facing away from prevailing winds.

2. A living tree should be chosen since dead trees are more likely to be blown down.

Plans and Specifications

1. Use rough, weathered lumber, cedar preferred; do not paint. If smooth or planed wood is used, tack screen inside box from floor to hole (rough wood or screen necessary for squirrels to climb out).

2. Hole: Cut 4" x 4" hole in the upper right side and toward back.

3. Bottom: Bore 2 or 3 one-quarter inch holes for drainage.

4. Back board: Extend back board several inches above and below to facilitate fastening to tree or pole.

Material list and dimensions (pdf)

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