Any way to tell rats nests apart?

I see huge nests in and around the nearby live oak trees here. I thought the ones up in the trees were squirrel dreys. A local tree trimmer said they are rats nests.

Is there a way to tell if they are made by the California dusky-footed wood rats, squirrels, or by Norwegian rats?

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Can’t help with others, but Rattus norvegicus don’t build nests on trees, in wild settings they dig up holes.


I’ve wondered the same thing - there are quite a few observations of ground nests in San Mateo which ID to Dusky-footed Woodrats:

But I’m not sure if there are any characteristics in particular to look for.

Roof rats (Rattus rattus) nest in trees. But I don’t know how to distinguish their nests from those of squirrels.

Dusky-footed woodrats seem to build lots stick and leaf nests in trees. I did not know that was also so for roof rats. Since I now live in a somewhat countrified area, I see several nests around the area, both up in trees and under trees. My friend’s tenant asked to have the nests removed, so we are trying to figure out how to tell if if they are dusky-footed wood rats or roof rats. @pfau_tarleton I found the study posted to be really interesting. I note there are few Himalayan black berry vines in the immediate area now, although there may well have been more in the along the creeks and rills, say 10-20 years ago.

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