Hardly any other endangered species in Finland has received as much public attention as the flying squirrel. It has affected both the plans of the forest owners and the routes of motorways. Nevertheless, the financial losses caused by flying squirrels have been extremely small for both society and individual people. Although the species is well-known among Finns, it is rarely seen. But you can see it by Myllylähde’s shoreline, if you are patient – the eastern shore has a nest that has been occupied several times over the years.
The presence of flying squirrels is usually revealed by their yellow droppings. During wintertime, the species eats pollen-bearing catkins, which stain its stool saffron yellow. In spring snowdrifts these droppings are easy to detect around the base of the flying squirrels’ most favoured trees and can accumulate into a thick layer. The most popular habitat of the flying squirrel is old mixed forest in which conifers, large poplars and other broad-leafed trees grow. Woodland dominated by grey alder are the most popular feeding environment, but flying sqirrels will eat the catkins, buds and branch tips of all tree species. Berries, especially rowan berries, are also delicacies for the flying squirrel.
The flying squirrel nests in tree hollows, but in their absence, old squirrel nests and attics will do. It will also nest in birdhouses and perhaps even those in yards. The flying squirrel is a very likeable creature but its life span is short and only rarely does one reach five years of age.