When the Bat Cave isn’t a cave but a stand of tall trees.
The first time I drove past this bountiful colony of flying foxes at Lowood Queensland, my jaw dropped and I almost came to a screeching halt. Curiosity got the better of me so quickly turned around to explore this mega bat hangout further.
These wonderful grey-headed flying foxes (Pteropus poliocephalus), also known as fruit bats or megabats, are a warm blooded mammal native to Australia, and our largest bat.
And very, very cute.
These images were taken mid-afternoon and the colony quiet with the occasional squabble, a screech and scream, yoga wing stretches, and short flights between trees.
Speaking of yoga wing stretches, it was interesting to watch them stretch out their wings – around 1 metre or 3.3 feet, then wrap themselves up again which for some reason reminded me of stuffed cabbage leaves.
At dusk, they’ll leave the roost with great fanfare and forage for food – nectar, pollen, and fruit. If you’re new to living with flying foxes and in their flight path the following tips will make life easier:
- get your washing in before sundown
- cover your car
- cover your outdoor furniture
- if you make noise, they’ll follow suit
- only use wildlife safe netting for your fruit trees. For more information about these nets see Wildlife friendly netting
Flying-foxes spread the pollen of valuable plants as they feed, so they play an important role in our environment. Some plants even rely on flying-foxes to pollinate their species.
~ Wildlife Preservation Society of Qld
Sadly the grey-headed flying foxes were listed as vulnerable in 2008, their numbers decreasing due to habitat loss, urbanisation, and other factors, and are now protected.
We need these noisy, furry, flying gardeners to help our environment flourish and I’m optimistic that we can get those numbers up again.
Till next time – Adiós mis amigos 🙂