【Series】Spirits of the Kamuy landscape (18) Flying squirrels glide from tree to tree amid the darkness

As the moon rises, the flying squirrels emerge from their nesting holes

The sun sets and twilight approaches in a forest in the city of Abashiri. As the moon rises in the eastern sky, a flying squirrel leaves its nesting hole.

 Flying squirrels are approximately 15 cm long and nocturnal; during the daytime, they sleep in the old nests of great spotted woodpeckers, and tree hollows. In winter, several squirrels share a nest in a bid to endure the severe cold. As darkness begins to fall, they wake and peer from their holes before emerging, wary of their natural enemies such as Ezo-ural owls and the like.

 Spreading the parachute-like patagium between their fore- and hind legs, the squirrels have the ability to glide between trees 50 meters apart. They glide back and forth between the trees near their nesting holes, feeding on the leaves of conifers and the winter buds of broad-leaved deciduous trees. Agile and dexterous, the squirrels are able to turn during flight, using their tail to steer. After finishing eating, the creatures return to their nests, dodging obstacles in their path.

 The sudden sight of a flying squirrel in the quiet forest is a heartwarming moment in which the cold is forgotten.


Abashiri City