I bet many would be interested to know what sounds do sugar gliders make and what they may mean. I have come across startled people when they hear a sugar glider crab for the first time. It was funny to see their expressions. Some would be quite shock, asking how on earth can such a small creature make such a loud and disturbing sound. Some people panic and think it’s crying in pain. I was in a taxi once and the driver thought I was carrying a snake! Hahaha…. he may have thought that the crabbing was a rattle snake. Now that just made me laughed.
Gliders are vocal pets so don’t think that these cute sleeping beauties of the day cannot be vocal. They make all sorts till people are quite puzzled with what they mean. Here are some common sounds that you would normally hear from a glider.
Crabbing : Now this sounds like a chain saw. One of my friends told me that it sounded something like an old car engine trying to get started. This is the loudest of all their sounds and can appear scary to new sugar glider owners. Basically crabbing usually means that they feel uneasy or uncomfortable, threatened, frightened or provoked.. It is normal to hear this sound on the 1st day of getting a joey/glider. They just feel so scared that the only way they protect themselves if they feel stressed is by crabbing and biting and jumping away. Once a joey or glider is used to you being around them, the crabbing would lessen.
Barking : This is one of the nicest sounds from gliders. It’s barking. It really does sound like a very young puppy giving short barks. Cute thing to hear. Now gliders bark for a few reasons. One is to communicate to one another, sometimes if something new appears unusually odd to a glider, it would bark to alert one another about it. Some gliders would also bark to call their human owners. Now barking usually happens at night, sometimes at during those wee hours in the morning.
Hissing : It is a sharp hissing tone. Adults do make this sound but usually when they are angry or in distress. Joeys would often make when they are hungry. Some gliders hiss while going to the toilet, it can be a sign that your glider is having constipation or has urinary tract infection.
Chattering : This sound is like a soft sound but with a fast beat. It sounds like it is talking. Normally gliders would make this sound when they are very excited. My Kimba would always chatter to me during his feeding times. It’s like a fast but soft tak-tak-tak sound…
Crying : A combination of a crab and hiss, this is often heard from young joeys that have been separated from their mom or gliders who have been separated from their partners or colony.
Chirp : This is one of my favourite sounds. Hard to explain how it sounds like but this can be heard when you offer your glider it’s favourite food. It can be GliderSLURP or mealworms or dried fruit treats. A happy sound.
There is also purring, which I have never heard before, maybe I have bad hearing hahaha. It is hard to listen to this sound unless you are in a very quiet room and you listen closely. It should sound like a little kitten’s purr. This often means a glider is content.
Mother gliders sing to their joeys. I may have missed on these sounds as I am not always by their side, but it has different pitches, making it rhythmic.
For more information on sugar glider sounds, visit:
Bourbon’s Sound Page – it has all the sounds available for you to listen