We took these pictures in the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens.  First, a picture of a sign describing these interesting creatures, which the Australians call flying foxes but we in America call flying squirrels.

Note the "squirrel guano" on the sign...they've been eating too much fruit.


These flying squirrels are not nocturnal like bats, though they perch upside down like bats.  They were very noisy, chittering like the flying monkeys from "The Wizard of Oz."  Many mangrove trees were completely filled with them, the city is not sure what to do about the problem - the "foxes" are a newly protected species, but the trees are also endangered.

A flying squirrel in flight.  We waited for some time to capture one like this, they are swift flyers.  We were lucky to see them as they are migratory, the "flock" had just recently made its annual return to Sydney.

According to garden employees the flying squirrels are carriers of a virus harmful to humans, luckily none of them came close.  Then again, we weren't carrying fruit.

Copyright 2001 Orin & Karen Day, Durham, NC, USA. All Rights Reserved.