The Cayuga Nature Center has 3 Southern Flying Squirrels (Glaucomys volans). These squirrels were born in captivity in May 2011, and have been living at the Nature Center since July 2011. They are nocturnal, so they are often sleeping during the day but then are very active at night. Because of this, many people don't realize how widespread the species is, with a range from southeastern Canada and the eastern United States, south as far as Mexico and Honduras.
Flying squirrels cannot actually fly; they glide. Stretching between their front and hind legs is a special gliding membrane called a "pantagium". This membrane gives them the ability to glide up to 200 feet! They use this membrane almost like a parachute as they glide, and they use their flat, bushy tail to help them balance when climbing and to keep them warm when they sleep. At night they glide from tree to tree in search of food. They eat acorns, nuts, seeds, berries, mushrooms, fungi and insects.