An unidentified flying animal swoops past a deer in this trail camera image. Bat? Flying squirrel? You be the judge. Credit: Courtesy of Ken Beland

To be perfectly honest, the acronym “UFO” doesn’t really work for today’s reader-submitted trail camera photo. Instead, I probably should have used “UFA” — Unidentified Flying Animal.

That’s Ken Beland’s thought, anyway: The Newport man is quite confident that the shiny image in this photo is a critter of some kind or another. But what is it?

“I enjoy playing the ‘what is it?’ game in the trail cam series. Here is another night photo with uncertainty that you are welcome to use,” Beland said. “What is certain is the spike buck on the left side of the picture. What is less certain is the UFO to the right of the deer and closer to the camera.”

Beland has narrowed down the choices.

“This photo is from 2011, the first year I had a trail camera. I came up with two possibilities: Bat or flying squirrel. This one looks like a bat to me, looks like it flying instead of the gentle glide of the flying squirrel.”

And Beland has some experience to draw upon.

“I once got an image of a flying squirrel gliding by camera as I approached it in the dark,” he said. “A picture of a human and flying squirrel is not as cool as ‘a buck and a bat.'”

Thanks for the great photo, Ken. Keep ’em coming!

Learn how to improve your trail cam game at the BDN’s Trail Cam Magic, a virtual seminar we’re staging on Jan. 27 at 6 p.m. Click here to reserve your spot for FREE.

Do you have a trail camera photo or video to share? Send it to and tell us “I consent to the BDN using my photo.” In order to prevent neighbors from stopping by to try to tag particularly large bucks, moose or bears, some identities and towns of origin may be omitted.

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John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. He spent 28 years working for the BDN, including 19 years as the paper's outdoors columnist or outdoors editor. While...