Animals > Squirrels > About Flying Squirrels

About Flying Squirrels

Flying Squirrel Southern Flying Squirrel

When it comes to squirrels, one of the first things that you may not think about is flying squirrels!  Of course, when we say flying squirrels, we do not mean that these furry mammals actually fly, instead they glide using a thin and furred piece of membrane that extends from their wrists all the way to their ankles.  It is almost like the squirrel has a cape on and with these species of squirrels only weighing between three and five ounces, the act of gliding is definitely not all that hard to do. 

Most flying squirrels are very similar to regular squirrels, minus the fact that these can glide everywhere versus just jumping.  They have the same soft, velvet fur that comes in a variety of colors ranging from grayish all the way to reddish brown.  The underbelly of the flying squirrel is usually dark gray at the base but is most of the time tipped with a cream color or a white.  Their tail is not fluffy like the usual squirrel; instead it is broad and flattened down.  They have large, black eyes that take up a lot of their head and their ears are usually small and rounded.   

Now that you know exactly what a flying squirrel looks like, you should know that these little critters usually nest in tree cavities and use lichen, dried grass, or very finely shredded bark to line their nest with.  This is great to know, especially if you are looking to spot a flying squirrel! 

The flying squirrel’s diet mainly consists of berries, blossoms, buds, cherries and definitely all types of nuts.  They do not however, eat walnuts as the nuts shell is too hard for their small teeth to gnaw on.  These nut and berry loving critters will never turn down some meat though; insects, stolen bird eggs and even small nestling birds have all become a meal to the flying squirrel and while we are not used to seeing a squirrel eat anything but vegetarian things, the flying squirrel is a little bit unique that way. 

This amazing creature is also a very social critter.  They usually like to live together, usually with more males than females, but that is not to say that females are not in the nest too.  If the female does happen to have a young one, they have to go live in a separate nest with the young; the flying squirrel mothers are extremely overprotective and nurturing.  Male squirrels are not allowed near the maternal nest and they do not take part in raising the young squirrels at all.  Usually, mating will begin in February and end in late March, so if you are looking to catch them mating, you will want to travel in these months.


Our articles are free for you to copy and distribute. Make sure to give credit for the article.