Flying Squirrels of the night are really beautiful creatures. Seeing one in the daytime is possible, they do move around during the day but it at night when they come out to play, forage, mate and do what they do best, just be squirrels.
Flying Squirrels are really neat animals of the dark forests, leaping and gliding from branch to branch, tree to tree. They are just so doggone cute!
I have seen these in the daytime. They are however, nocturnal creatures. Just look at those big, beautiful eyes of COURSE they are a creature of the night!
While the term “flying” is misleading, they do actually glide quite well despite being incapable of true flight. These nocturnal squirrels have a feral lifespan of about six years, but in captivity they are known to live for closer to 10 to 15 years. This is because of the absence of attrition in the wild; being captive, they do not become prey to other creatures such as arboreal snakes (like the Puff Adder, etc,) raccoons, coyotes, and even Northern Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis) are known to prey upon these flying squirrels.
Squirrel of a Different Color
Oh how I love though unusual pets, eh?
(My pet Red Squirrel “Kookla”. Super-enlarged image, of and by author)
I used to have a red squirrel that I raised from a ‘pinkie’, discovered in a washed-out nest in an old cow barn. One of three found in this nest on the ground, this thumb-sized naked pinkie was at first thought to be a barn rat, but as it grew it sprouted red fur and it was a red squirrel. I named him “Kookla”, the Russian word for “Clown” or more literally “Hand puppet.”
I kept Kookla as a domestic pet for years. Quite tame, I could take him out of the cage I had built, handle him, and let him run loose in my apartment. Supervised, of course. He’d come when called and jump up into my hand! But over time as the squirrel aged and became slower and less active, the fur turned gray-white. I have never seen a RED squirrel turn so ‘gray’ before! I figured that in the wild, they would be preyed-upon long before becoming so old and venerable. The red squirrel lived for about 7 years. I have to admit complete ignorance of the fact that people have been keeping flying squirrels as pets. Flying Squirrels do, now that I think of it, bear a striking resemblance to what is known as “Sugar Gliders”, often sold in pet stores. I have read that these squirrels have been kept as pets since the colonial era in the U.S.