This week, we ventured high into the rugged peaks of the Western North Carolina Mountains to interview some of our more…unique Deltec homeowners.
These particular homeowners have always been very reclusive. It’s hard to blame them for this since their species, the Carolina Northern Flying Squirrel, is considered federally endangered. Carolina Northern Flying Squirrels can only be found in eight of the most remote mountain ranges in Western North Carolina and Tennessee.
They aren’t the easiest to track down either, as they are mostly nocturnal, and their preferred habitat—high elevation spruce-fir forests—is dense and rugged, yet very beautiful, the kind of forest that makes you think of a medieval fairy tale. We managed to find a few of them as they emerged from a cold winter nestled inside their new Deltec nest box. Even though they had a prior engagement, mostly gathering nuts and nest materials, they were happy to take a few minutes to chat with us about their home.
Deltec: Why did you choose Deltec Homes?
Homeowner: Each year we rely on housing provided to us by the kind folks at the NC Wildlife Commission. Normally, we’d have to find a dead or hollow tree to make our nest, but there are fewer and fewer of our favorite types, which are Frasier Fir and Hemlock, because of pests and humans building homes further into our habitat. Therefore the NC Wildlife Commission puts boxes up for us every year for the few of us who are left in the neighborhood. The benefits are twofold: we get a place to live and they get to monitor our population numbers. These homes are made out of Deltec Homes’ scrap lumber built by Deltec employee volunteers. They’ve been doing this for a number of years now, so they must like them. And I must say, we are sure glad they do!
Deltec: Why are you glad they’re from Deltec?
Homeowner: The quality of the wood is exceptional. The plywood they use a lot thicker than the old plywood a lot of our homes used to be made of. Since we have a pretty strong instinct to chew on wood—don’t judge, it helps us sharpen our teeth—we ended up chewing our old homes up really fast, and then they’re no good for the next year. This wood tastes really good. It has a lot fewer glues and binders than other kinds manufactured by humans like OSB—and it’s extra thick and strong, so it’ll last us a long while. I’m sure your human homeowners appreciate that feature as well!
Deltec: It’s among their concerns, I’m sure. Is there anything else about your Deltec home that you’d like to share?
Homeowner: Our strong home keeps us warm and safe throughout the winter, making it much more stress-free. During the winter, we pile in here together to keep warm because we don’t hibernate like other mammals, and it helps us feel much safer from predators—it would be hard for an owl or a hawk to tear through this well-constructed home!
So there you have it, another satisfied Deltec Homeowner. If you’d like to learn more about the Carolina Northern Flying Squirrel, or other wildlife conservation activities in North Carolina, check out the North Carolina Wildlife Commission Education site.