Sunday, January 25, 2009
Bat Boys Become Bat Men
We sadly dropped off our bat babies (well, they are technically juveniles!) at the bat crèche, which is a French word that translates to day care or “care of other’s young offspring provided by animals.” The set up there great, this huge aviary that housed several bat moms and their babies, along with other juveniles roughly the same age as our boys, about two to three months old. There were two species, the black (Baldrick) and grey (Boris). It was funny how they hung with their own species once they were in the aviary! At top is a pic of Boris and one of his new friends, he looked a little nervous (that’s him on the left, I had to zoom in on his teeny toe band to see his number) but we trust the fact that bats are social and will figure it all out. It has been incredible to watch what their instinct tells them to do. For instance, when they grab a piece of fruit out of their food bowl, they quickly move away from the source and hide it with their wing so that some other bat doesn’t come along and grab it. That is something that a human bat careperson couldn’t possibly teach them!
It had become tricky to house these guys, as they had started flying and would launch from where they were hanging and land on you. (Usually, this was accompanied by a spot of pee! Gee, thanks!) I started wearing my long-sleeved work shirt around the house for exactly this reason. We knew the time had come for them to go, but this did not make it any easier.
The lower, outdoor pic is the colony from where Baldrick was originally rescued. This is one of the largest bat colonies I’ve seen, but they are difficult to photograph with my little camera. You get the point, hopefully, of the amount of bats “hanging around.” Click on the photo for a larger view. This was only a small portion of the larger group. At sunset, they stream off in a long black swarm in search of blossoms and fruit. They have been known to travel quite a distance, and sometimes spend the night where they’ve gone foraging.
Currently enjoying a 3-day weekend for Australia Day tomorrow. End of summer and the kids go back to school on Tuesday!