Some folks living in certain rural regions may be quite familiar with flying squirrels. And even if you are a lifelong city dweller it is likely that you have seen a flying squirrel at some point during your lifetime, but did not realize it. Many people live amongst flying squirrels, but as a result of their behavior, which differs from your typical squirrel, flying squirrels prefer to be more covert than common squirrels.
Unless a person was located a great distance from a flying squirrel, chances are that you would recognize flying squirrels as being markedly different from common squirrels, and certainly more fascinating on account of their lack of exposure to humans. Flying squirrels differ from common squirrels in that they have flat tails as opposed to bushy tails, and the eyes of a flying squirrel are very large and pure black.
Flying squirrels can be found in various parts of the world, and there are only two known species of flying squirrel dwelling within North America. Both of these species, which include Glaucomys sabrinus and Glaucomys volans, can be found in the northern midwestern region of the United States.
As for the squirrels “flying” abilities, they do not really fly, rather they spread their limbs, which exposes wind-resistant skin flaps that allow them to glide through the air. In addition to that cool ability, flying squirrels use their flat tails as rudders and brakes while soaring through the air.
So why don’t we see these airborne squirrels flying over our heads every time we are outside? Well, flying squirrels are rarely spotted on account of their nocturnal activities. During the daytime hours, when you cannot see flying squirrels, they are usually relaxing high up in a tree, likely within a birds nest.
Have you ever spotted a flying squirrel during the daytime hours?