Ever try to attract flying squirrels? Here’s how to do it

Flying squirrels can be attracted to platform feeders with bird feed, including suet, sunflowers and peanuts. (Photo by Jerry Davis)

Every now and then it is good to consider trying a new outdoors activity.

Fish for brook trout where they are likely to be. Hunt a new animal or bird; maybe a different turkey subspecies. Go along on a Christmas bird count. Set up in a blind and observe prairie chickens or sharp-tailed grouse on their breeding grounds. Travel to peek at Wisconsin’s elk gangs (yes, the group name for elk is gang, much as a flock of crows is called a murder).

It might be interesting to take someone along, too, young or old.

Wisconsin has four species of tree squirrels, three of which are huntable species, including the tiny red (pine) squirrel. In addition to gray and fox squirrels, Wisconsin is home to a few populations of northern flying squirrels and the more common southern flying squirrels in most of the state.

Most people have never seen this tiny, nocturnal animal that weighs only 1 to 3 ounces.

If someone lives near woods, these squirrels are probably living there and can be attracted by putting any type of bird feed out at dusk, when the birds and bigger tree squirrels are holed up in a next or hollow tree.

Build a tiny platform feeder, 4 by 6 inches, add a half-inch railing to keep the food contained and attach the feeder to a tree, about 6 feet up or more. Check the feeder with a flashlight or yard light from the house.

It is sometimes helpful to tap a metal object with another metal to alert these inquisitive animals. If they begin finding the food and coming in, they may respond to the tapping whenever you want to see them.

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