Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Yikes! Flying Squirrels!

Over Memorial Day weekend, Beth and I went on a hike through the Black River Wildlife Management area in search of Pink Lady's Slipper orchids, which we found and are really cool. We also found another natural treasure while we were there.

I was walking past a tree when a small creature ran up the side and around the back of the tree. Normally, I would've dismissed it as a chipmunk, but something just didn't seem right. I quickly moved around the back of the tree and the critter scurried even higher up in the tree. I thought that it might have been a flying squirrel due to its color and size, but I had never seen one in person. I called Beth over from her "wildflower watching" and we both looked for the squirrel. It appeared that the squirrel had completely disappeared! We looked carefully around the tree and could not relocate the squirrel. I had about given up when I noticed a funny looking broken branch stump on the tree. I lifted my binoculars and there it was! I said, "Hey Beth, see that stump up there. That's a flying squirrel!" Seeing that these creatures are mainly nocturnal, I think we were pretty lucky to see one! Although I've heard of people that have them nesting on their property, I haven't been so lucky. Here's a picture of the little guy/gal. It was pretty far away.


You can't see me!


I'm not sure if it was a Northern Flying Squirrel or a Southern Flying Squirrel because I believe that their ranges overlap in NJ. Either way, it was really cool to see one.

6 comments:

MojoMan said...

Great photo! Few people have ever seen a flying squirrel, let alone photographed one. Now, let's see Boris and Natasha.

Pamela Martin said...

I've never seen one...though I believe they (at least, northern flying squirrels) may be around here in eastern Ontario. Great picture! And a good reminder: I've got to get out and check for my local Pink Ladyslippers very soon....

Patrick Belardo said...

I definitely feel lucky to have seen it and photographed it. I wish I had a better zoom lens so I could have gotten a clear shot.

Pam, I'm pretty sure they make it up to Ontario. Enjoy the Ladyslippers! They are so cool.

cpbvk said...

Flying Squirrels are quite common here in northern Utah, but Ive never seen one abroad by day. When I was a kid, we had a birdfeeder that hung from the eave on a wire. At night the squirrels would sail from across the canyon and land on the feeder, eat their fill, then glide back across the canyon.

Marv said...

Last night we had a visitor in our home. He was climbing around our brick fireplace then disapeared. We then discovered him on a curtain rod overlooking our bed. It looked a bit like a squirrel and a bit like a chipmunk. I took the screen out of the window and let him run outside. I looked it up on the net and it turned out to be a northern flying squirrel. I had never seen (or heard of one)one before but I guess we have them here in Killaloe!!

Patrick Belardo said...

How cool Marv!