What Do Flying Squirrels Eat

Flying squirrels eat a variety of foods, including fruits, nuts, insects, small birds, and meat scraps. They are known to visit bird feeders and can also eat lichen, sap, and even truffles. Some species of flying squirrels have a more carnivorous diet and may consume bird eggs and small rodents like moles. They are adaptable eaters and can consume a wide variety of foods.

Flying squirrels have been known to eat the following foods:

  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Pinecones
  • Mushrooms
  • Acorns
  • Truffles
  • Various plant matter
  • Lichen
  • Fruit
  • Eggs
  • Small birds
  • Small rodents
  • Decaying animals
What Do Flying Squirrels Eat

How Much Does a Flying Squirrel Eat

Flying squirrels typically consume 0.4-1 ounces or 10-30 grams of food per day, depending on the species and food availability. Wild flying squirrels may require more food due to their higher activity levels. These squirrels are skilled foragers and hoarders, often collecting and storing food for winter.

They have been observed eating acorns immediately and saving hickory nuts for later. As a pet owner, it is recommended to feed your flying squirrel around 0.4 ounces or 10 grams of food per day. It is important to provide them with a varied diet, similar to what they would eat in the wild.

What to Feed Flying Squirrels as a Pet

When it comes to feeding flying squirrels as pets, it’s important to provide them with a diet that mimics what they would eat in the wild. Here are some options for their main diet and treats:

Main Diet

  • Pecans
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Bird seed blends
  • Mealworms
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Fresh fruit
  • Butternut squash
  • Pine nuts


In addition to their main diet, you can also treat your flying squirrel to some special hiding spots within their enclosure. Find clean and dry locations and hide various nuts and seeds there to encourage their natural foraging behavior.

Other Options

Depending on the species of flying squirrel, you may also be able to feed them small pieces of chicken or high-quality cat food. However, it’s important not to overfeed them, as they are not picky eaters and may be prone to weight gain if given too much food.

Remember to always monitor your flying squirrel’s diet and make sure they have access to fresh water at all times. Additionally, it’s a good idea to consult with a veterinarian who is knowledgeable about exotic pets to ensure you are providing the best diet for your flying squirrel.

What Do Babies of Flying Squirrels Eat

Flying squirrel babies primarily consume milk until they are 5 weeks old. After that, they start eating solid food, including hard nuts and seeds, to keep their teeth filed down. If you come across an abandoned baby flying squirrel, you can try feeding it dog or cat milk substitutes like Esbilac, which is a standard puppy milk replacement formula.

It is important to warm the milk thoroughly and provide a warm enclosure for the baby squirrel. It is better to underfeed than overfeed to prevent bloating. However, it is ideal for baby squirrels to receive their mother’s milk as it contains enzymes that are beneficial to their development. Once they reach four or five weeks old, they can freely eat and enjoy as many acorns as they want.

How Much Does A Baby Flying Squirrel Eat

The amount of food a baby flying squirrel needs to eat depends on its weight. Weigh the baby on a scale in grams and multiply that number by 7% (0.07) to determine the number of cc’s or ml’s to feed per feeding. It’s important to start with smaller feedings at first and gradually work up to 7% if the baby is emaciated. Avoid overfeeding or increasing feeding amounts too quickly.

How Often Do Baby Flying Squirrels Eat

Baby flying squirrels should be fed every 2-4 hours to ensure they receive enough nutrients. Be careful not to overfeed them, as this can cause milk to bubble from their nose and lead to aspiration pneumonia. It’s also important to wake them up before feeding. Avoid giving them too much food at once.

What Do Flying Squirrels Eat in The Wild

Flying squirrels in the wild have a diverse diet as natural omnivores. They primarily eat seeds, nuts, fruits, fungi, and different types of insects. These food sources provide them with the necessary nutrients to support their growth, development, and maintain a healthy immune system.

Interestingly, the Southern species of flying squirrels are more carnivorous than omnivorous. They incorporate supplements such as eggs, carrion, and small birds into their diet. Their hunting abilities, combined with their gliding skills, enable them to silently and effectively catch their prey.


What do northern flying squirrels eat?

Northern flying squirrels eat a diet primarily consisting of nuts, acorns, fungi, and lichens. They may also eat fruits, buds, sap, bird eggs, small nestling birds, and insects.

What do southern flying squirrels eat?

Southern flying squirrels are omnivorous and eat a variety of foods. They consume animal foods such as carrion (flesh of dead animals), bird eggs, and live animals like mice, shrews, invertebrates, and nestling birds. They eat more animal food compared to other tree squirrels and rodents.

What do flying squirrels eat in the winter?

Flying squirrels eat beechnuts, acorns, hickory nuts, and other large seeds during the winter. They start storing these nuts in late summer in their nests, on the ground, and in and around trees. These nuts are a crucial part of their winter diet.

What fruits do flying squirrels eat?

Flying squirrels eat a variety of fruits, including apples, blueberries, oranges, melons, and papayas. These fruits provide them with important nutrients and are a tasty treat for them.

Can flying squirrels eat peanut butter?

Yes, flying squirrels can eat peanut butter. They are known to enjoy peanut butter, raw peanuts, and sunflower seeds. They are similar in size to red squirrels but weigh only half as much. Flying squirrels are active during the evening and are often seen at feeders shortly after sunset.

Do flying squirrels eat acorns?

Yes, flying squirrels eat acorns. They also eat hickory nuts, wild cherry pits, and other seeds. In addition, they consume dormant insects, lichens, fungi, various types of vegetation, and the bark of many hardwood trees.

Do flying squirrels eat mice?

Flying squirrels are not known to eat mice as a significant part of their diet. They are primarily herbivores and primarily eat nuts, seeds, fruits, and insects. They may occasionally consume small animals like insects, bird eggs, or nestlings, but mice are not a common part of their diet.

Can flying squirrels eat bananas?

Yes, flying squirrels can eat bananas and they find them delicious. Bananas are a healthy and nutritious food for flying squirrels as they are rich in vitamins and nutrients. However, it’s important to note that you shouldn’t feed flying squirrels banana peels as they are high in fiber and cellulose.

Can a flying squirrel eat hamster mix?

Yes, flying squirrels can eat hamster mix as part of their diet. However, it is important to supplement their diet with other items and ensure they have a good source of calcium.

Do flying squirrels eat at night?

Yes, flying squirrels are nocturnal animals, meaning they are most active at night. They will search for food during the nighttime hours, gliding from tree to tree in search of a meal.

Are there flying squirrels in the US?

Yes, there are two species of flying squirrels that can be found in many forests throughout the United States. The northern flying squirrel can be found in the northern states and Canada, while the southern flying squirrel can be found in the eastern states of the US.

Are flying squirrels harmful?

Flying squirrels are generally not harmful to humans and are even considered social animals. However, if they feel threatened, they may bite and potentially transmit diseases like rabies. It’s important to avoid handling or approaching them to reduce the risk of any harm or disease transmission.

Are flying squirrels rare?

Flying squirrels are not considered rare animals. They are actually quite abundant in various regions including North and Central America, Europe, and Asia. However, they are nocturnal creatures, so it is relatively uncommon to see them during daylight hours.

Do flying squirrels store food for later?

Yes, flying squirrels are known to store food in various locations such as tree cavities and underground burrows. They will create food caches to sustain themselves during times of scarcity.

Are flying squirrels meat eaters?

While their diet mainly consists of nuts and fruits, flying squirrels are also known to consume insects and small amounts of meat, such as bird eggs or nestlings.

Do flying squirrels eat bird feed?

Flying squirrels are known to eat bird feed, especially if it contains sunflower seeds, peanuts, or other nuts. If you wish to deter them from consuming bird feed, consider using feeders specifically designed to exclude squirrels.

Can flying squirrels eat human food?

While flying squirrels can enjoy small amounts of human food, it’s important to avoid feeding them anything high in sugar, salt, or fat. Stick to offering them natural, healthy options like fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

Are there any plants that flying squirrels should not eat?

Flying squirrels should avoid consuming rhododendron, azaleas, and mountain laurel, as these plants can be toxic to them. It’s always best to provide them with a diet that closely mimics their natural food sources.

Do flying squirrels eat the same foods as other squirrel species?

Flying squirrels have a similar diet to other squirrel species, such as tree squirrels, but they also have a stronger preference for fungi and lichens.

What is the feeding behavior of flying squirrels?

Flying squirrels are nocturnal and primarily forage for food at night. They use their keen sense of smell to locate food sources and are known to cache excess food for future consumption.

Are there any specific foods that flying squirrels should avoid?

Flying squirrels should avoid consuming high-sugar and high-fat foods, as well as processed foods, which can lead to health issues such as obesity and dental problems.

Do flying squirrels eat bird eggs?

Flying squirrels are known to raid bird nests and consume eggs, particularly during the breeding season.

What kind of nuts do flying squirrels eat?

Flying squirrels enjoy a variety of nuts, including acorns, hickory nuts, and beech nuts. They will also eat seeds from pinecones and other trees.

Do flying squirrels need to drink water?

Flying squirrels obtain most of their water from the food they eat, such as juicy fruits and vegetables. However, they may also drink from natural water sources if available in their habitat.

Are flying squirrels omnivores?

Yes, flying squirrels are omnivores. They eat a diverse range of foods such as seeds, nuts, fungi, fruit, and insects. Some species, like the southern flying squirrel, are even known to eat eggs, birds, and carrion, making them the most carnivorous of all squirrels.


In conclusion, flying squirrels are fascinating creatures with unique dietary needs. Knowing what they eat is not only intriguing but also essential for their well-being. By providing them with a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, nuts, insects, and vegetation, you can help these little acrobats thrive in their natural habitats.

Similar Posts