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Old 05-11-2017, 09:51 AM   #20
Trail Boss
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I received a reply from a local expert on Adirondack wildlife and he also believes what I described is a flying squirrel. The specific type (Northern or Southern) is difficult to pin down based on my description. He asked if it was an overcast day (it was; heavily overcast) because it is "most unusual" to see a flying squirrel during the day (I saw it shortly after 3:00 PM).

He explained they breed in late March and the young leave the nest in May and June. He speculated the milder winter this year may have produced earlier offspring. I may have seen an immature animal, possibly on its own for the first time, in search of territory to establish a new home (in the spruce-fir forest). Given the daylight sighting, it may have been forced to travel.

Being a wildlife expert and not a screenwriter (hello JerseyHighlander!), he didn't mention anything about falling out of a raptor's jaws and gliding to a safe descent onto Whiteface's boardwalk.

He said the large eyes are usually what most people notice first. The "wing folds" are normally difficult to see and would've been unnoticeable for the short hops it had made. He said the bounding I saw would not be out of the ordinary for a maturing flying squirrel.

This flying squirrel is now part of my favorite animal sightings.
  1. Female moose and offspring at Meacham Lake State Campground (New York).
  2. Fisher clinging to tree along the Van Hoevenberg Trail near Mount Marcy (New York).
  3. Black bear foraging above treeline on Hamlin Peak (Maine).
  4. Wolverine in Guanella Pass near Square Top Mountain (Colorado).
  5. Flying Squirrel atop Whiteface Mountain (New York).


Thank you all for your assistance!


PS

Here's that very poor photo of the animal. It was approximately 35 feet away at the time I recorded it. The image has been cropped, magnified (3X), and the area of interest has been circled.
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File Type: jpg IMG_6706_cr.jpg (116.0 KB, 122 views)
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