New Real Estate

December 12, 2022
volunteers constructing flying squirrel boxes at Rowe Woods.

A story by Rick Campbell. This article is also featured in the December 14, 2022 edition of Now in Nature.

Four spacious open-concept apartments, ideal for raising a family. High rise with beautiful woodland views in quiet neighborhood, preschool nearby. Rustic wood paneled interior, fine dining facility within easy gliding distance. Enjoy country living in Clermont County!

Olivia Espinoza, Cincinnati Nature Center’s Natural Areas Manager, and Dan Johnson of the “Thursday Gang,” a Cincinnati Nature Center volunteer construction group, teamed up to create nest boxes for flying squirrels near Groesbeck Estate. Dan said they worked with flying squirrel expert John Klein who designed the boxes and feeders on 16-foot poles.  

Of 50 species worldwide, North America and Central America have three (Wikipedia).  Southern flying squirrels (Glaucomys Volans) may be Ohio’s most common mammal, but most people haven’t seen them because they are nocturnal, perhaps because they are not adept at avoiding daytime raptors. Flying squirrels don’t fly, but glide from tree to tree using a flap of loose skin that extends from their wrists to ankles, the patagium, like a parachute. Their fur is olive brown on top and white underneath. They are omnivores, eating seeds, fruit, insects, snails and slugs, and bird eggs.

According to the Ohio Division of Natural Resources, the Southern flying squirrel breeds twice a year, in February and March, and in May and July. Gestation lasts some 40 days.  Two to six young are born, naked and helpless, but within five weeks they can practice gliding and by 10 weeks they leave the nest.

Olivia hopes to increase nesting opportunities for flying squirrels that have been seen near Groesbeck Estate. She may eventually also put up a game camera to monitor their nighttime activities and make that video available for the public as well. 

The future of this up-and-coming neighborhood looks to be optimistic! Hopefully the new homeowners agree.