Lesser long-nosed bat (Phyllostomidae) Leptonycteris yerbabuenae
Photos taken with Canon digital Rebel through our window Monday Sept 13 between 8:45 and 9:45 pm.
For this photo shoot I put the camera on a tripod, with the lens against the glass. I focused the camera on the feeder and set to manual focus.
I attached a remote shutter button to the camera, sat on a chair next to the camera and watched for bats. Each time I saw a bat come in, I pressed the shutter.
Since we still have old single paned windows with the lens against the glass the flash does not show up on the glass.
If the lens gets pulled of the glass the flash shines on the window and all you can see is white.
I find these little nectar bats amazing. They are so quick and acrobatic.
Their wings are incredible.
Some of the positions the bats get in while leaving the feeder are pretty amazing.
This is one of my favorite shots of the night.
I ended up with over a hundred photos that included bats in an hour. (of course I ended up with a lot of photos of just the feeder too. ) :)
The lesser long-nosed bat (Phyllostomidae) Leptonycteris yerbabuenae is one of three North American species that feed exclusively on the fruit and nectar of night-blooming cacti including saguaro and organ pipe, as well as many species of agave. They are found in southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico, and throughout Mexico and Baja California. In the Sonoran Desert of northwestern Mexico, the cardon cactus provides nutritious meals for these endangered bats from the time the cactus blooms in spring through the time when fruits ripen in the heat of summer. In return, the bats provide a valuable service, pollinating the cactus’ flowers, which enables them to reproduce, and then dispersing the seeds of the fruits so new plants can grow.
Lesser long-nosed bats are important to the reproductive biology of other plants too. For example, in the absence of bats, the seed set of the agave falls to one-three-thousandth of normal. In 1988, these bats were listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as Endangered. Roost disturbance and possible effects of habitat loss such as the over-harvesting of agaves in Mexico represent the primary threats for these bats.
These bats are strong flyers and easily commute over 20 miles every night from their toosts to major foraging areas. They can reach flights speeds of up to 14 mph and their broad wings allow them to hover at flowers like hummingbirds.
More info on bats at www.batcon.org
For more info on an Arizona 2010 Hummingbird study on bats see http://marana.com/index.aspx?NID=520