Monday, April 13, 2015

The Batty Highrise

Roosting bats were ruining an area of our nearby Royal Botanic Gardens and by a primitive method, noise, they were driven away to where the were encouraged to roost as Yarra Bend Park, perhaps ten kilometres away. The noise was simply made with amplified music and banging saucepan lids together during the day when the bats wanted to roost and sleep.

The bats often passed by the Highrise as they went off to wherever they found food. For a while after they were driven away we saw very few but they have certainly returned now, the difference being they fly past at night later and return earlier in the early morning. Our Friend from Japan was recently staying with us and she took a decent walk in the Botanic Gardens and chatted to staff there (and fed her face I might add) and established the bats have not returned, so they are obviously flying quite a distance from Yarra Bend Park to pass us by on their way to feed, which I guess why they are now passing later and returning earlier than they used to.

The bats are known here as grey-headed flying foxes and they are relatively large bats, weighing up to 1 kilogram and with a wing span of up to 1 metre. Luckily they are not fond of human blood taken from the neck but eat fruit, flowers and pollen.

Here is an individual and a colony at daytime roost. Photos from Wikipedia.



I'll finish with a bat anecdote which does not really apply to these bats but another species. A tour guide was showing a group of tourists the interior of a bat cave and right in the middle of explaining the flawless internal radar navigation system bats have, one flew straight into a woman's hair. Maybe her hair was thin and teased up and so lacked density to return a radar echo.

16 comments:

  1. We have them too, I'm not a fan but they are protected I will never understand why as there are a lot of them.
    Merle..................

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    1. Merle, surely a bit like possums. There are so many of them too, yet they are protected, but not in New Zealand where our possums are a pest.

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  2. Andrew I have never seen them in /poland,. But we have them here

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    1. Gosia, well you are a bit close to Transylvania.

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  3. We have them too. I find them fascinating, from a distance.

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    1. EC, they seem to spread Australia wide. While Melbourne has dealt with an overpopulation, Sydney and Queensland has not yet.

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    2. Actually Sydney Botanic Gardens also took steps to deter the bats and it was even the subject of a court case which went as far as the Full Federal Court. It's a problem which has built up over a number of years as suburbia has become a relatively favourable environment for bats - relatively that is to the degradation of other habitats, as with (starting a bit later) the ibis. I don't think they have entirely eliminated them from the Botanic[al] Gardens but they have much reduced their numbers.

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    3. Marcellous, I have a vague awareness that there was issue about the bats in Sydney's Botanic Gardens. Lordy, to read the voluminous court report, but I did skim through it. Are the omnipresent Ibis a problem?

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    4. Thanks Marcellous. Much as I thought about ibis.

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  4. We have a crowd of the same bats in our Botanical Gardens, they roost in the trees nearest the zoo. I've rarely seen any flying over the suburbs this far away from there. I took photos of them last summer.

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    1. River, I guess it depends on numbers. There were so many in our gardens and they were destroying trees and plants.

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  5. Bats...we don't have them but I hear they can be a menace...I know their dropping can be a pain on the paint work of a vehicle. This did happen to our roof of a vehicle we had. We parked underneath the wrong tree in Darwin :).

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    1. WA, how interesting about Darwin. We were overwhelmed by bird noise in the main street at sunset when we there, sans car.

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    2. The droppings can also make people ill. There are signs near our bats warning people not to stand directly beneath the trees.

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    3. Good advice River, but neither you nor I would be silly enough to stand underneath.

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