When Do Flying Squirrels Have Babies? [Reproduction Behaviors]

when do flying squirrels have babies

Flying squirrels are very elusive animals. Most people do not know much about them simply because they are so challenging to find in the wild, and almost no one can observe them naturally because they are primarily nocturnal. This leads many to wonder about flying squirrel behavior, including when these animals have babies. 

Northern flying squirrels have babies between mid-April – mid-June. Southern Flying squirrels give birth between mid-February – mid-May and mid-July – mid-September. Flying squirrels usually have 2 – 3 babies in each cycle in nests built high above the ground. 

There are many mysteries surrounding flying squirrels, but several studies have been conducted on these fascinating animals, and people have discovered most of the crucial characteristics of the flying squirrel and its behavior. 

Let’s explore some of the fascinating attributes of this animal to understand it better. 

When Do Flying Squirrels Have Babies?

The average person doesn’t often get to see flying squirrels in their natural habitat, making them quite mysterious creatures. 

These animals are primarily nocturnal and are only active for about four hours a night, which makes them very difficult to observe. 

Among the most commonly asked question regarding these squirrels is the time of year when these animals give birth. But, of course, every animal has a breeding season, and knowing when to look out for baby flying squirrels can be great fun, as these tiny squirrels are exceedingly beautiful. 

Northern Flying squirrels typically breed between March and May, which means that baby flying squirrels are born between mid-April and mid-June. 

Southern flying squirrels tend to mate between January – April and June -August. 

Most species of the flying squirrel will give birth in these months, but you will rarely see a baby in this period. 

Flying squirrels learn to glide and will only leave the nest from about three months old, which means that seeing a baby flying squirrel is unlikely while they are younger than this age. 

If you are looking for a baby flying squirrel, the best months to keep an eye out for them are from mid-July to mid-October for Northern flying squirrels and mid-February to mid-May or mid-July to mid-September for Southern flying squirrels. 

Any baby flyers that are learning to glide and beginning to leave the nest will be seen in these months, and they are very special to behold if you are lucky enough to observe them in the wild. 

What Is the Gestation Period Of Flying Squirrels?

We have established when flying squirrels generally mate and when they are typically born, but another important thing is how long these animals’ gestation period is. 

The gestation period of most flying squirrel species is 40 days. These squirrels are pregnant for 40 days before giving birth and then nurse their young for around two months before being weaned. 

Once the baby squirrels reach three months old, they begin learning to glide and wander further from their mothers. 

Flying squirrels are social animals and tend to live in groups of around eight squirrels, but the males of these species are more likely to move away from their families when they become old enough to breed. 

This means that juvenile flying squirrels tend to stay with their mothers for several months before moving on, and a female flying squirrel is likely to have her young with her for much longer than some other squirrels. 

How Many Babies Do Flying Squirrels Have?

Flying squirrels are known to mate between March and May, and they give birth about 40 days after they conceive. These animals live in family groups, but their young move on to form separate groups when they come of age. 

This leads many to wonder how many babies flying squirrels typically have in one cycle. 

Most flying squirrel species can give birth to 1 – 6 young in a single cycle. 

However, these are considered the upper limits of the number of young these animals have. Most baby flying squirrels are born in litters of 2 or 3 at a time. 

The number of babies these animals have at once can be affected by environmental factors, including the availability of food or the mother’s overall health can determine how many babies are born at once. 

How Often Can Flying Squirrels Get Pregnant?

Flying squirrels give birth to multiple babies at once, but unlike other rodents, they only give birth once or twice a year, depending on the species. 

Northern flying squirrels typically only give birth once per year, and thus there is a generally smaller population of this species in most areas. 

Southern flying squirrels can give birth twice a year, as these animals go through two mating seasons yearly. 

There is no guarantee that any squirrel will give birth during every birthing season, but if they do, it is always around the same time every year. 

Where Do Flying Squirrels Give Birth?

Flying squirrels are very elusive animals that most people do not commonly see. We know when these animals breed and give birth, but we only see the young squirrels once they are already a few months old. 

Most flying squirrels give birth in elevated nests constructed above 1m from the ground and have been observed to build nests as high up as 18m. 

These squirrels will build their nests from sticks, twigs, animal fur, feathers, and conifer needles. 

Some flyers have been known to build their nests in woodpecker holes, use abandoned bird nests, in tree cavities, or simply in the crook of a tree branch. 

Some species of flyers are more particular than others regarding nest locations. Still, most are generally not picky about where they build their nests, so long as they are high off the ground and well-protected from the elements and predators. 

Where Do Flying Squirrels Make Their Nests? 

Flying squirrels nest in trees, but they rarely build their own nests. Instead, they prefer to use nests abandoned by birds or other squirrels. Flying squirrels will add leaves and other materials to a nest to refurbish it. 

Woodpecker nests and natural holes in the trees are favored by southern flying squirrels. Northern flying squirrels prefer open nests and seldom use holes in trees.

Do Flying Squirrels Mate For Life?

Flying squirrels do not mate for life. Instead, they are polygynous, which indicates that one male squirrel will mate with several female squirrels in a season. 

Each season different female and male pairs will mate. This helps ensure genetic biodiversity. Sometimes a dominant male will mate with the same female over repeated years.   

When the female flying squirrel is ready to mate, she attracts males through pheromones and vocalizations.

The males will gather and compete for the female’s attention. They kick at each other and rapidly sway their hindquarters. 

The female chooses her mate, usually the most dominant male. 

Sometimes the female flying squirrel selects both a dominant and more submissive male, which then causes the males to challenge each other. 

Final Word

Flying squirrels are elusive, and their young are rarely seen in the wild. Baby flyers are born around 40 days after conception and can usually be seen from July to October in the North and February to September in the South. 

Every year, flying squirrels have babies at the same time. So even though you might not see young squirrels often, they are born regularly. After about three months, the babies leave their nests, and it can be a fantastic experience if you ever get to see one.

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