Mariton: Flying Squirrels
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.
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.
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.