Yes we do have Northern Flying Squirrels throughout Northern California. If you have bird feeders with tree canopy overhead, you may even see them visiting your feeders at night.
These fascinating little creatures don't really fly, but they can glide long distances from tree to tree. One of their interesting defenses is to immediately move sideways when they land after gliding. It is thought that they do this to evade owl predators.
Flying squirrels are shy and nocturnal so rarely seen. They are solitary creatures for most of the year, but when the weather gets cold, they join together in community nests to stay warm and have been found in groups of more than 50 squirrels. They make their nests in cavities of dead trees and abandoned woodpecker nests. Their diet includes lichen, mushrooms, insects and bird eggs.
These little ones were found on the ground by kind people who knew to get them to Tri County Wildlife Care. Flying Squirrels are not easy to raise, so we were thrilled to see them begin to thrive. Flying Squirrels have see through skin as small babies and it is easy to see when their bellies are full of white milk and when they need to be fed. Babies must be fed every 3-4 hours around the clock.
We try to get our patients back out into the wild as quickly as possible, but when we get late arrivals like these, we have to overwinter them. When we have singles, we work with neighboring groups to avoid having them bond to people. In the Spring, these little ones will be set free into a canopy of trees.
Tri County Wildlife Care, a local non-profit organization founded in 1994, is dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of native wildlife. They envision a world where people and wildlife thrive together and work with the public to live in balance with nature.
For more information, please call 209-283-3245 or visit www.pawspartners.org.
PawsPartners.org is an alliance formed between A-PAL Humane Society of Amador County and Tri County Wildlife Care, the latter serving native wildlife in Amador, Calaveras, and Eastern San Joaquin Counties. Since inception we have added the Shelter Partners volunteer group, who support our local Animal Control organization, and Amador County Animal Response Team (ACART).