how do squirrels stay dry when it rains

How do squirrels stay dry when it rains? We’re more likely to spot squirrels during bright weather, but what about when it’s raining? 

To find out, keep reading.

We’ll look at what squirrels do to stay dry and the activities they engage in when it rains.

When it rains, squirrels seek refuge in a tree or drey to remain dry, and when the winds are high and destructive, they seek protection in a hollow tree to avoid being tossed out of their nest and maybe wounded.

Otherwise, any shelter or alternate nest is available.

How Do Squirrels Stay Dry When It Rains?


Most of us notice squirrels on sunny days or even when there is cloud cover. 

Squirrels generally avoid venturing out in the rain because they prefer safe and warm shelter. 

But how do they keep themselves dry when it rains? Let’s take a look!

1. In The Dreys

squirrel tree drey

When it rains, flying squirrels stay dry in dreys, particularly in the winter when temperatures outside may be below freezing. 

Dreys are built of moss, leaves, twigs, and tree branches.

During the summer, one or more adult squirrels shape them and position them between the forks of tree branches. 

This ensures stability even on the windiest nights while assuring that the drey can hold the weight of the squirrels in the habitat and any future offspring. 

Squirrels in the backyard may also put dreys in basements, attics, and a house's walls.

2. In the Tree Den

squirrel on tree

When it rains, flying squirrels prefer to seek refuge and stay dry in tree caves.

They are often made of materials such as tree bark, leaves, tiny twigs, and moss.

These dens are more widespread in woodlands and forests where flying squirrels reside.

However, tree dens in tree homes and attics are not rare since flying squirrels find these spaces to be ideal for living.

Tree dens may also be built on the limbs of trees or in hollowed-out holes if you are vigilant when spending time in the woods.

Because flying squirrels are nocturnal, they can be located resting in tree dens during the day.

3. Ground Burrows

ground burrow

During the rain, ground squirrels shelter in ground-level and underground burrows.

These ground-level burrows may provide shelter from the squirrels’ environment’s most harsh weather conditions.

Ground burrows allow squirrels in frigid regions to hibernate during the hard winter when temperatures may plummet to dangerous levels.

On the other hand, these burrows are useful for squirrels living in deserts and other regions where temperatures rise dramatically throughout the summer.

Ground caves are ideal for estivation and lengthy inactivity akin to hibernation during warmer weather.

4. In the House Chimneys

house squirrel

Chimney Squirrels may occasionally climb down the chimney flues of traditional wood-burning fireplaces in search of a dry spot to nest when it rains.

They may even build a nest in the area above the fireplace damper on rare instances when the fireplace has not been used for a long period.

5. In Vacant Houses

Some squirrels enter people’s basements and empty houses to stay dry during rain.

They may go unseen for the whole winter, only to return when the weather warms up.

6. In the Trash Cans

Trash cans often have lids. However, the vast majority of recycling bins do not.

Squirrels have a nice place to hide during the rainy season to stay dry when these trash cans are left outside.

What Do Squirrels Do When It Rains?

what squirrel do when raining

It’s important to understand that squirrel activity varies by location and environment.

When it comes to rain, squirrels are more interested in what it leaves behind than in the rain itself.

Here is the squirrel’s activity when it rains:

1. Feeding

Rain, as we all know, may arrive in a short shower or persist for days, if not weeks.

As a result, the resourceful squirrel must devise a strategy to guarantee that they remain well-fed when the weather turns terrible.

As you may know, squirrels often store food under cover as they prepare for the winter.

Squirrels do not actively hibernate, although they stay in one location with food until the winter months pass. 

If they are stuck in lengthy periods of rain, the squirrels will eat in their food stores.

Remember that squirrels consume acorns, bird eggs, almonds, and other foods; they are not as choosy as they seem.

As a result, they’re always likely to have great hauls ready for rainy days.

During prolonged heavy rainfall

squirrel eating in rain

However, rain does not always fall at the most advantageous times, and an ordinary squirrel may be left without any reserve.

What happens, for example, in the thick of a July downpour?

At this point, the squirrel realizes it has no choice but to go out in the rain to forage.

As a result, this is when you’re most likely to observe squirrels running about in the rain – when they have no other option.

Squirrels aren't terrified of rain; they want to remain dry and comfortable, like many of us. 

Squirrels, on the other hand, will face the weather if they need to gather food for their brood. 

Many of them utilize their bushy tails to give cover from the downpour while scavenging.

On the other hand, squirrels without tails must run in and out of the rain as soon as possible.

In addition, food may be limited for squirrels during severe storms or hurricane-force winds since it is easily blown away or crushed.

In these instances, squirrels must make do with what is available, but they risk starvation if nothing can be salvaged.

2. Reproducing

squirrel mating

The rainy season is ideal for squirrel reproduction. Female squirrels reproduce by mating and then giving birth to live offspring.

Female squirrels release odors and vocalizations during this time that attract male squirrels from nearby regions. Males leave their daily routines in search of reproductive females. 

Males contending for female attention will struggle for supremacy, which is determined by size, power, and maturity.

Female squirrels become aware of which males are the most desirable bachelors after dominance is established. 

The female pursues, sometimes at the same time that her suitors are fighting. Those guys who can keep up serve to demonstrate their desirability as mates.

3. Giving Birth

Most squirrels give birth during the rainy season. The female will either construct a new nest or utilize an existing winter drey as her maternity nest.

After a pregnancy of six weeks, she gives birth inside of it after lining it with comfortable material.

Do Squirrels Come Out in the Rain?

squirrel on tree branch

Squirrels exhibit some unusual behavior (such as adopting rudimentary camouflage, which is misinterpreted as ‘playing dead,’ but running about in damp weather for pleasure is not on their agenda.

If you observe a squirrel running about in flood, it’s either because their food sources are running short or they’re trying to get back to their nest.

It’s all the more incentive to consider installing squirrel feeders in your yard. 

Putting up a feeding station will not only keep local squirrel populations nourished during severe weather, but it will also likely draw squirrels to your area regularly

Squirrels will return to your yard for rainy-day supplies if they know they can rely on it as a reliable food supply.

FAQs About How Do Squirrels Stay Dry When It Rains?

faqs about squirrel

Do you have more questions about how squirrels stay dry when it rains?

Here are some questions concerning squirrels.

Why Do Squirrels Run Around After Becoming Wet?

When a squirrel becomes wet, it may start shaking and panicking. This innate reflex is meant to relieve the animal of excess moisture while keeping them warm.

Although it’s common, If you see a damp, distressed squirrel, call animal welfare.

What Do Squirrels Do When It Snows?

Rain and snow have comparable effects.

Squirrels will seek refuge under trees and other artificial structures until they naturally melt away, allowing them to emerge.

However, if they do not have access to shelter, they will seek safety in a dry spot.

What Happens to Squirrels When a Storm Hits?

Squirrels do not normally come out during storms since they are connected with heavy rain and possible floods.

Because of their innate dread of water, they will seek a dry spot to nest in or another higher branch. 

Final Verdict

How do squirrels stay dry when it rains?

Squirrels seek shelter from the rain by climbing up onto high trees or making tunnels in the ground to burrow into when it rains.

They may also take refuge within tree hollows.

Thanks for reading!