I saw a Southern Flying Squirrel 2 nights ago that was a pretty typical experience for me. I was camped at the free campground in SOIL, the one NE of Devil's Backbone, Turkey Bayou. The campground was empty and I was sitting next to a decent fire having a beer or 9. I first heard it on a tree about 25 ft away. I saw it well as it fled up the tree. I saw it 3 or 4 more times in various trees around me until a Barred Owl ended it's prowling around my camp, I'm not sure it got it, but I never saw it again. Daytime high was in the 50's low of 39 F.
If you haven't seen one before, remember they are very small and very quick. They have a very different movement pattern than any of the diurnal squirrels. They do have an eyeshine, but I have never seen it from a distance. Most SFS I have seen have been at 50' max. You can see them glide occasionally, but they are quick and you're not always sure you actually saw something.
If you haven't seen one, I would advise finding an empty campground in the early spring, when there are no leaves, and sitting up. I would advise only 1 or 2 people, so you're not distracted.
Hans Breuer (twoton) wrote:
I don't know about American flying squrls, but my experience in Taiwan and Borneo tells me that you can find them quite easily by their eye shine.
This very true, but does not apply to American flying squirrels in my experience. The SE Asian species are much easier to find and observe and are very slow in comparison to their much smaller American counterparts.