Did you know there are Northern Flying Squirrels in the Peace Country? Actually, they range all over Canada’s northern boreal forest, but you could consider yourself very lucky if you happened to spot one.
Flying Squirrels are nocturnal, unlike the the familiar little red squirrel that shouts for a portion of a picnic lunch. That means the flying squirrel has bigger eyes to see in the dark and is far less gregarious than the brave red squirrel that taunts your dog. Flying squirrels are best viewed by shining a flashlight on a bird feeder after dark – which means summer isn’t the best time to go looking.
However, if you see a furry, rectangular UFO sail through the glow of your campfire, you can be sure it isn’t a bat or a cougar. It’s probably the swift, silent flyer with his special gliding membrane. They are incredibly agile in the air, using their tails as rudders and their extra skin as parachutes. They usually “fly” between five and 25 metres, but some flights longer than 45 metres have been observed.
If you have ever seen a mushroom up in a tree or a cache of lichens, seeds, flowers and even carrion, it could very well be the work of a flying squirrel. They also nest in trees, especially in old woodpecker holes, but also underground. You may have attributed a messy nest or that stray mushroom to the red squirrel, but be aware there are more eyes watching from the forest than you’ll ever know. The flying squirrels are just one of the mysterious species keeping an eye on us.
The best way to see the Northern Flying Squirrel? YouTube. Check this out 🙂
If you’ve seen some unusual wildlife in the Peace Country, we’d love to hear your story! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment on any post. Always appreciated!