July 14, 2009

The Flight Of Bats.

The word bat can bring on a feeling of uneasiness in many. These little creatures are linked with the supernatural and in some way with something unpleasant and even something evil. How unfair that is, as none of the evil myths about them are true.

I love bats. They are magnificent animals and unusual beings. Everything about them is out of the ordinary and I find that very intriguing.
Bats are mammals, yet their limbs are converted into wings and they are thus the only mammals known to man that can fly. Unlike widely believed, they do not suck the blood of animals (with a few exceptions) and most bats eat fruits and insects, contributing greatly in the pollination of plants, seed dispersal and pest control.
Even more fascinating are the senses of the bat. Bat is not blind, but its eye sight is pore. However, it has been postulated that some species can sense ultraviolet light. Their senses of smell and hearing are excellent. As written on the wikipedia site: "By emitting high-pitched sounds and listening to the echoes, also known as sonar, bats locate prey and other nearby objects. This is the process of echolocation, an ability they share with dolphins and whales."

Where I live, many bats can be observed during the summer season. As soon as the air grows still upon the approaching dusk, many can be seen flying just outside my windows. I love to watch them. Silent and fast, they change flight direction in a split of a second. My eyes are unable to fully capture their movement, due to not just the lack of light, but also due to the incredible speed with which they fly.

The below is a short clip of such an encounter on a warm evening a couple of weeks ago. Please forgive the poor picture and sound quality.

15 comments:

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

I like seeing bats fly there is something mystical about them. x

steviewren said...

I have occasionally seen bats here at night. Some people put bat houses up near their homes to encourage them to live nearby. We have so many pesky insects here, bats are welcome.

The most amazing sight I've ever seen was in Austin, TX. Millions of bats live under the bridge that spans the river that flows through downtown. People go down at dusk every night of the summer and wait for the bats to come out. It is a spectacular show that lasted about 15 minutes the night we saw them. For as far as the eye could see, was a swarm of bats stretching into the distance.

Julie Hibbard said...

I have encountered bats several times too! They have, indeed, been given a bad rap!
They are helpful and smart and they care for each other! Though they are not the prettiest of animals, they are certainly to be admired, as well as thanked for their contributions to the pest control world.
GREAT photograph!

Gal Friday said...

I enjoyed watching your little video clip of the bats in your part of the world. And, also enjoyed reading the above comments--nice knowing there are other *batty* types.
I think I read once that to have bats in the environment, means that it is healthy(and they are also good to have around because of the mosquitos they eat!)

Betsy said...

My only encounter with a bat is one that a boy brought to school for Show-N-Tell in 2nd or 3rd grade. I thought it was strange to have a pet bat. I have seen them here flying in the light of the street lights at night.

Claus said...

Amazing! both the information and the video! I have never had a bat encounter in my life, though an around the block neighbor once said that there were two of them in the back of her house, so they might be around. They would scare the heck out of me probably :-)

Rajesh said...

I have seen bats hanging from the tree in plenty during the day on one of the highways. People are generally scared of them for whatever reason.

Poetikat said...

I'm not averse to bats, since the eat the mosquitoes. I wouldn't want to encounter them up close, but I did want to put up a bat house at one time only we couldn't find a suitable spot. I do like the big "Flying Foxes" of Australia. They're cute!

Kat

Donna at Mourning Dove Cottage said...

They always scare me when they swoop down, but I like watching them.

Hugs,
Donna

Mel said...

Don't like bats. Nothing to say. Have a good night. See you tomorrow!

Holly said...

I used to be very uneasy around bats. when I moved to the desert I slowly got used to seeing them often because of the large number of fruit trees we have in these areas. Now I relate them with summer and peaceful dusky evenings. I enjoy watching their rhythmic flight. I even think that they are kind of cute. :) Funny how just getting used to something can change your perception of it so much!

sallymandy said...

Thanks, Z, for this great post on bats! As it happens, I'm spending a few days near a lake in western Montana that has many bats that come out at night. When I was a child this used to scare me, but I kind of like the little guys now. I don't care for them INSIDE the cabin, however.

Thanks for your recent visits...xo

Protege said...

=Reasons To Be...,
yes, I agree, I think has to do with the fact that they are so quiet and that they fly at night instead of a day like birds do.;)

=stevie,
I like that people encourage bats to live nearby, I can imagine that with the heat many strange insects live around.
I would love to have seen all those bats in the sky, what an experience!
xo

=Julie,
I agree with everything. They are definitely not pretty, but like Holly, I think they are kinda cute.;))
xo

=Tina,
gad you enjoyed the video, I was thinking about that yesterday when reading your post, whether it was something similar you have seen in the weekend.
I am happy to hear my environment is healthy.;))
xo

=Betsy,
pet-bat, how funny! It must have so strange to see it, but I guess interesting to see it up close.;)) xo

=Claus,
I think most women (me included) are scared they will fly into their hair, as that is what we see in movies.;)) I don't think that will happen though.;) Just like sallymandy below says, I too would not be happy about having one flying around the house. I am likewise not happy about birds flying inside, as I feel they will hurt themselves and fly into things.;))
I am happy you enjoyed the video.;)) xo

=Rajesh,
I yet have to see where bats sleep, I only see them in flight.;)) Thank you for stopping by.;))

=Kat,
I agree with you on all accounts. They do have an element of cutness to them absolutely.;))
Thank you for stopping by, it is always a pleasure.;)

=Donna,
yes, it looks like they are not in control of the flight, but they sure are.;)) xoxo

=Mel,
hehe, short, sweet and honest.;)) No problem, you are one of many.;) Hope you are having a wonderful Wednesday.;)) xo

=Holly,
I so agree with you, I too was not used to seeing bats before, but once when I just moved to Denmark I was living outside in the country for a short while and on the evening of my birthday, I sat outside on the porch and watched at least hundred of bats flying just above me. I was amazed by the swiftness and the precision and silence of the flight and loved the experience.
I agree with you, they are somewhat cute;)
Always happy when you stop by.;) xo

=sallymandy,
so glad you enjoyed this post.:)) I agree with you, having one fly into the house is not something I wish for; as how to get it out right? I love to watch them, but I am not keen on any close encounters.;))
I hope you are having a wonderful time of in the cabin.;)
xoxo

Hilary said...

As a child, I was terrified of bats because I believed those who said that they'd go for your hair and get tangled up in it. I did grow to love them though and we see several each summer evening around here too.

We also once spent the night with one in a cottage. The people who owned it were doing electrical renovations and there were several wires at light fixture height which were wrapped up in black electrical tape. Who knew that the one in the bedroom was not wrapped wires at all, but a bat hanging from the ceiling? It was only the next day that we realized it and it was quite a comical scene ridding the cottage of its presence. We only had a kids' butterfly net with which to catch him. Eventually he did find his way through the open door. It was a good close up look at one though. Fascinating creatures. :)

Keera Ann Fox said...

I've never understood why people find bats icky. They certainly are wonderful to look at in flight. Thanks for the video!