Mariton: Flying Squirrels

January 11, 2021

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager

I checked the flying squirrel (Glaucomyus volans) boxes recently.  Back in October I found that mice were living in both boxes.  I wanted to see if the mice were still there, or if the flying squirrels had evicted them.  I was hoping that the flying squirrels would use the special made condos, but Mariton Wildlife Sanctuary has lots of natural tree cavities ideal for these interesting creatures.

Photo by Tim Burris

A flying squirrel in a bluebird nestbox.

I know flying squirrels will inhabit manmade cavities.  I’ve found their nests (and the actual squirrels) in bluebird boxes during the winter before.  Maureen and I have even shared space with them in different houses where we lived.   We have some wonderful stories about a living with flying squirrels.

Photo by Tim Burris

A Flying Squirrel Nest. You can see the passageway between apartments in the ceiling/floor.

I was really pleased to find flying squirrel nests in both boxes.  The nest is very characteristic and is made of shredded bark and other fine materials.  The condos I put up have three stacked “apartments” above each other with access from one floor to another.  Flying squirrels like communal living.  In fact, they will form “huddles” of a dozen individuals during the winter to conserve heat.  While I didn’t find any flying squirrels this time, I know they are using the two boxes and hope to see them sometime in the future.