With winter getting colder dead branches with shredded bark are becoming much more commonly seen. Here I caught the culprit in the act as she stripped the dead cambium layer.
Squirrels will strip bark from living branches for food and/or water but when they are stripping dead limbs as they are doing now it is to line their nest. The bark provides padding and insulation. It will be a few weeks before the first young of the year will be born but this squirrel will have her nest ready to receive them.
A little chewing softens it up just right before she scampered away to her cavity nest.
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