If you are visiting Zion or Bryce Canyon National Park and you see something flying through the forests at night- it just might be the Northern Flying Squirrel!
The Northern Flying Squirrel is 5-6 inches long in the body with a 3 ½ to 5 inch long tail. His fur is grayish brown on the back and is white below. He has little folds of skin between his front and hind legs, which he uses to glide from tree to tree. Since he loves the broad-leaved and mixed forests, the Northern Flying Squirrel is another animal that is more likely to be found near Bryce Canyon National Park than Zion National Park.
Rather than truly flying, the Northern Flying Squirrel is able to use the folds of skin between his legs to glide for a usual distance of 20-30 feet. In order to begin his glide, the flying squirrel simply leaps from the tree and spreads his legs. He then controls his glide by moving his legs, using his tail as a sort of a rudder. Immediately after landing on another tree, the Flying Squirrel will often scramble to the farther side of the tree as a means to avoid any owls who may have witnessed his glide and, for all he knows at the time, might be close on his gliding heels! Unlike all other American squirrels, the Flying Squirrel is nocturnal (which of course is the reason he is so concerned with owls.)