Bat in a bind

Bat in a bind - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Bat in a bind – Photograph by Laura Lecce

This is an Australian flying fox hanging on my parents garden fence. Australia has a few different species of flying fox, some of which are among the largest bats in the world. Some people may be horrified by this devilish-looking vampire-like creature, but actually they have a very cute face. They are fruit, flower and nectar eaters by night and by day they are busy sleeping (when they are not screeching at neighbors for space on overpopulated tree houses). They live in huge family groups which can have thousands of bats. Unlike most bats they do not use echolocation as they have great vision and are known to use geographical landmarks to find their way home. How did this bat end up in my parents yard in broad daylight? Well, my dad had realized that his figs were getting eaten (usually it’s the birds that get to them). So he covered the fig trees with netting to stop the birds from accessing the fruit. My mum awoke the next morning to find an angry bat tangled in the netting which had been trying to get to the fruit, and a very curious cat on the fence keeping a close eye on this mysterious find. She called my brother to get some scissors to cut the bat out of the netting, which he did, all the while trying not to get bitten by this agitated critter. After being freed from the net the exhausted bat hung on the fence a while to find the energy to fly away home. (Photo is courtesy of my mum.)

10 thoughts on “Bat in a bind

  1. So glad that all ended well. I follow several bat groups and I have to admit I drool over the cute baby bat photos. I wonder if I would be scared to have a large group of large bats flying around me or would I go “Awww”! 😉 I am willing to test that out! lol

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    1. I’m glad it ended well too and no one was hurt (bat included). You’ll definitely have to go to Australia to find out then! I used to watch them at dusk land all over this giant wild fig tree in the park next to the university I was going to. They can be incredibly noise in a large group, and also make a huge mess of half eaten figs and bat droppings all over the floor!

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