Saturday, October 16, 2010

dusky-footed woodrat house ~ 10/16/10 ~ Elkhorn Slough

dusky-footed woodrat house
Neotoma fuscipes

I have absolutely no idea what made this. I would estimate it's about 4 feet wide and about 5 feet up off the ground and within 20 feet from the slough water. There looks to be a clear hole leading from the main tree branch. We actually spotted 2 of these nest/den thingies within 50 ft of each other; they're kinda hard to miss since they're so big. I would have tried to get a closer look, except the poison oak was particularly dense around the trees. I'm guessing some kind of mammal made this. Does anyone know what it is?

ps 02/11/11 - I originally posted this as an unknown nest or den. Thanks to commenters both here on Nature ID and Flickr, I've learned it's the house of the dusky-footed woodrat.

7 comments:

Sandy said...

I was wondering if it could be a squirrel nest. I am also not an expert but it does look similar to the nest squirrelsl build in my neighborhood.

Sandy
natualhistorywanderings.com

Nature ID (Katie) said...

I'll look into it. But 4 feet wide!?! For a tree squirrel?

Nature ID (Katie) said...

Sandy, I can't seem to link to your site... oop, misspelling. Will check it out.

biobabbler said...

It looks a lot like a wood rat nest to me, although I've never seen one suspended in the air like that, before, but they make huge houses.

Nature ID (Katie) said...

Thanks, bb, for another lead to look into. I'm terribly curious to know what made this stick home... and I'm sure it wasn't the 3 Little Pigs.

texwisgirl said...

Hi Katie: Almost missed this post as it was back-dated quite a bit. Kept coming back to look to see if you had posted something and finally found it.

Have no idea what the nest would be, but I have heard of wood rats making pretty sizeable structures. :)

Nature ID (Katie) said...

twg, out of curiosity, how do you access my blog? I use google reader for most of my blog perusings. I know if I backpost earlier than 6 weeks it doesn't show up as a new post. I'm not too fussed if people don't find all my backdated posts, because this blog is, in essence, a personal nature journal. Thanks, as always, for your comments.