Where Do Flying Squirrels Live: The Habitat and Behavior of Flying Squirrels

Flying squirrels live in many different places but are most commonly found in trees. In the United States, flying squirrels are generally found in the northern states, but they can also be found in scattered locations in other parts of the country. 

They use their wings to glide from tree to tree – making them very efficient and fast travelers. They’re most active at night but can also be seen during the day. 

Flying Squirrels and Their Habitat

Where They Can Be Found

Flying squirrels live in many different parts of the world but can be most commonly spotted in North America. They can be found in both suburban and rural areas. These squirrels are nocturnal animals and typically live in trees or high up in buildings.

Are They Rare?

Flying squirrels are a curious sight in North America, but they’re out there. If you don’t see one right away, don’t get discouraged. They vary significantly in distribution across North America, so knowing where to look is essential.

Flying Squirrels in Homes

Flying squirrels can be found in many places, including homes. These squirrels eat insects and other small animals, so they’re not a nuisance. They can be quite helpful in controlling insect populations. 

If you encounter a flying squirrel in your home, it’s best to leave it alone – they may be looking for food or nesting materials. If you must capture one, do it safely and release it back where it came from.

How Flying Squirrels Survive in the Wild

Their Diet

Flying squirrels mainly live on nuts, seeds, fruits, and insects, which gives them an essential role in the ecosystem.

How Flying Squirrels’ Fly’

One of the unique adaptations flying squirrels have made for their environment is their powerful braking mechanism for their tail, allowing them to stop quickly in midair. They have a dexterous tail that helps them balance as they glide through the air. 

Flying squirrels use this technique to stay aloft for extended periods, which is why they’re so good at living in trees. Flying squirrels glide, soaring in the air with their tail held straight out behind them. This allows them to glide for long distances and avoid obstacles while flying. 

Flying squirrels can glide up to 150 feet or more from 60 feet. They usually dwell in trees near the ground but fly high into the air during mating season or when searching for food. 

Other Unique Adaptations 

Flying squirrels have large ears that help them to hear better in the forest and keep track of their surroundings. Flying squirrels use echolocation to navigate their way around, meaning that, like bats do, flying squirrels use their ears to listen to the environment and figure out their location. 

Their fur is rich in oils specially adapted to resist the low levels of humidity found in forests, allowing them to fly and stay warm in cold weather. They can swim great distances and possess an acute sense of smell and sharp vision. 


While most squirrels are active during the day, flying squirrels are nocturnal, meaning they are active during the night. This can make them difficult to spot. 

Do They Hibernate?

Although they do not hibernate, flying squirrels go into a state of torpor during cold months to save energy.

Reproduction and Family Structure

Flying squirrels have breeding seasons that last for several months, during which the females mate and give birth to litters of young. These young flying squirrels are then weaned and left their family unit to start their colony. 

Flying squirrel colonies can range in size but are usually around 20 individuals. They live in colonies with a high degree of sociality, where each squirrel knows its place and role. They are also brilliant and can solve complex problems. 

Flying Squirrels as Pets

Flying squirrels are not commonly available as pets. These mammals are active and have a high level of intelligence, making them good candidates for a pet. However, there are subspecies of flying squirrels federally listed as endangered. The main threats to them come from deforestation and habitat loss.

If you do decide to get them as pets, keep in mind that they need plenty of space and must have access to a tree or pole for climbing. If you’re ready to add a squirrel to your life, you should also be prepared to purchase a squirrel enclosure, provide plenty of food and water, and keep an eye on your pet.

How You Can Help Protect Flying Squirrel Populations in the Wild

There are a few ways that you can help protect flying squirrel populations in the wild. One way is by trimming down trees to at least a few feet in height, as these are flying squirrels’ primary source of shelter from the weather. 

You should also ensure that your kitchen doesn’t have too many unused foods, as flying squirrels feed mainly on nuts. 

Sugar Gliders Versus Flying Squirrels

Flying squirrels and sugar gliders may look similar, but they’re two different types of animals that live in different parts of the world. Sugar gliders are native to Australia, while flying squirrels can be found in North America, Europe, and Asia. Flying squirrels are more significant than sugar gliders and have a slightly different tail style.