One of the best things about living in Michigan is discovering the unique and surprising nature of its wildlife, like the hidden nests and leafy structures in the trees.

When most people look up and notice a pile of sticks and leaves in a tree, they assume it's nothing more than a bird's nest. However, if you pay attention and look closely, you'll quickly realize that a different type of critter built it.

You might not even notice the balled-up sticks and leaves in trees during the spring and summer, as the foliage does a pretty good job of hiding them. You normally don't even see them until the fall when the leaves of Michigan's trees fall, exposing the rather large nests.

What Are Those Nests Made of Leaves and Sticks?

If it's not a bird's nest, what is it?

The nests are called dreys, but most people would just refer to them as squirrel nests. Yes, squirrels belong to those nests you see made of sticks, leaves, moss, and pine needles.

Dreys may look a bit rough from the outside, but they're actually well-constructed. They do a great job of shielding squirrels from the harsh Michigan winters, not to mention serving as good food storage.

How Many Squirrels Live in a Drey?

Unless it is a female squirrel with a litter of young, only one squirrel will live in its drey.

If you go looking for dreys, look way up as most are built high up in trees.

Michigan's Deadliest Animals & Critters

You may have even seen a few of these in your home or around the state.

Michigan Movie Theater for Squirrels

Beaver Island - The Most Remote Spot in Michigan

Beaver Island stands as the largest island in Lake Michigan and the third-largest island in the state, trailing only Isle Royale and Drummond Island. Encompassing 55.8 square miles, the island lies about 32 miles away from Charlevoix. As of the 2010 census, Beaver Island was home to a population of 657.

Gallery Credit: MLive Youtube

Update: More Animals Added to Michigan's Year-Round Hunting List

The Michigan DNR has added the following animals to the state's year-round hunting list. Land owners may kill these animals on their property with no special permits required.

Gallery Credit: Lauren Gordon

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