2nd Annual Bat Night
Around this time of year in Arizona we get nectar bats coming to our hummingbird feeders. The type of bats that visit our feeders are called Lesser Long-nosed bats (Leptonycteris curasoae yerbabuenae) . This species listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act. Both last year and this year we signed up as part of a study that keeps data on bats that visit hummingbird feeders in the Tucson Basin. We monitor the feeders and record on a webside when we saw bats at the feeders and how much the sugar water level dropped that night.
For the past two years we have been lucky enough to have the bat biologists come out to our house an trap a few bats for the study. If you would like to see last years post, follow this link https://mostlyphotos.wordpress.com/2009/10/10/bat-night-with-u-s-fish-and-wildlife/ The biologists set up mist nets around the feeders. Lesser long-nosed bats actually have pretty good eyesight and often avoid the nets.
Here our first bat caught in the net. This year we had bat biologists from both U.S. fish and Wildlife and Bat Conservation International (BCI) come out to trap the bats.
Once the bat is out of the net, the biologists look it over to check its over all health. I can never get over how small the bats look when they are not flying about.
Here is a close up of one of the bats. This one is female. One of the things the biologists wanted to collect was pollen, but none of the bats they caught had any noticeable pollen on them.
These are little bat flies. They are a parasite on the bats. I think these are Streblidae, but I am no bat bug expert.
A close up of the bat fly.
A close up of the wing while the biologist checks for health and age.
They measure the bats wing, check to see what sex they are, weigh them and determine their age.
Then they dab them with a little magic marker so if the same bat gets caught in the net the same night, the biologists will know and just set the bat free.
All the data is recorded and then the bat is done, the biologists let the bat go to fly off in the night.
Here is another bat, also female. Four bats were netted, three were female and the fourth escaped out of the net before it was captured.
A close up of the bats face. They have lots of hairy whiskers. The claws you see would be the bats thumbs.
A close up of the underside of the bat’s mouth. In this photo you can easily see the leaf-nose.
If you look at a bat’s wing then look at your own hand you can see that each bone in the wing is similar to each bone in your fingers. Bat’s wings are like giant webbed hands with arms attached.
Note the arm, elbow, forearm, thumb then all the fingers coming off from it, making up the wing.
Another close up of a bat. It is not often I get a chance to see a bat so close up. They are amazing looking.
Kind of a profile shot here. Again you can easily see the leaf shaped nose.
This bat is starting to look like he is getting tired of ‘Bat Night’
Well, it is late. Time to close up shop. The biologist is carefully untangling a desert marigold that got stuck in the trap.
Above you can see the pole that hold up the net. But it is late and time to put everything away until next Bat Night.