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Flying Squirrel

Scientific name: Glaucomys Volans

These small nocturnal squirrels are the size of a chipmunk, with large dark eyes. They are much smaller than the common grey squirrel that you see most often. Flying squirrels are not capable of flight like birds or bats; instead, they glide between trees. They are capable of obtaining lift within the course of these flights. As you can see, there is a loose flap of skin between the front and back legs, which allows them to glide in the air.


Photo by Steve Geller

Flying Squirrel


1-5 ounces


8-12 inches, plus a tail which can be 3-5 inches

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They enjoy fruits, nuts, berries, buds as well as insects such as moths and beetles.


They live in holes in trees and like woody areas with lots of old rotting trees.

Life Cycle

Babies are born in the spring. A typical litter consists of four to six newborns. It is possible that there is also a second late season litter born in late summer. They can live from 5-6 years.

Similar Species

The grey squirrel is the one which we typically see, as they are active during the day, unlike the flying squirrel.

Ecosystem Connections

The flying squirrel lives in small holes that may have been excavated by a woodpecker or other animal. They are part of the diet of many other animals such as snakes, raccoons and raptors (birds).

Human Connections

According to NYSEG, they  have been known to fly into transformer boxes, killing themselves and also resulting in a power outage.

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