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Naturally Curious: Flying Squirrels in Vermont

Written by Vermont Life on . Posted in Outdoor Recreation and Nature

Here’s the latest from guest blogger Mary Holland, the writer and photographer at Naturally Curious.

Two species of flying squirrels are found in Vermont — the northern flying squirrel and the southern flying squirrel. Resembling each other closely in appearance, the slightly larger northern flying squirrel is often found higher than 1,000 feet above sea level. These nocturnal rodents can glide as far as 295 feet from tree to tree, or tree to ground. They do this by stretching their legs out and controlling the position of the flap of skin that extends from the outside of the wrist on the front leg to the ankle of the hind leg on both sides of their body. Their broad, flattened tail acts as a parachute, rudder, stabilizer and brake during the glide. During very cold weather, flying squirrels cluster together in tree cavities and other sheltered spots in groups of up to 20 individuals, for protection as well as warmth. If you feed birds, try shining a light on your feeders after the sun goes down. You may very well be treated to the sight of several flying squirrels helping themselves to your sunflower seeds and suet.

What Vermont animals are you curious about?

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