About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Where flying squirrels live

Do we have a lot of flying squirrels in Michigan?
Southern Flying Squirrel via Wikimedia Commons

Although they can be found throughout the state, few people notice Michigan's flying squirrels. The two species of flying squirrels that overlap in Mid-Michigan are the northern flying squirrel and the smaller, more common southern flying squirrel.

Flying squirrels visit bird feeders but only come out at night. You might be able to spot them at dusk as they whip around the yard looking for food. Unlike bats, flying squirrels do not really fly. They have a loose membrane of furred skin attached between their legs and a flattened tail that helps them glide from tree to tree.

As the days shorten, flying squirrels will begin hoarding food. They feed on hickory nuts, acorns, wild cherry pits and other seeds. They gather and store their food in nest cavities or in the cracks and crevices of trees to survive long winters.

Flying squirrels can build a leaf nest but prefer to live in hollow trees, old woodpecker holes, and bluebird houses during the winter. To keep warm, several squirrels can huddle together to conserve energy. They do not hibernate but can reduce their metabolic rate and body temperature to allow them to stay in nests for several days during severe weather.

Sources:
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- How many species of squirrels are in Michigan? http://bit.ly/yYt6Nb
- How high can squirrels jump to bird feeders? http://goo.gl/XuvwNe
- Squirrels Like to Work for Their Food http://squirrels-like-to-work-for-their-food.html

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