Except, when we went to our local park to watch the bats and get some great photos and inspiration for the post, they had left. Every. Single. One.
I was so disappointed.
I suspect they flew away because some noisy workers were erecting a better playground. I know I should have been happy, a new playground is great but Miss Possum and I loved the bats!
Thankfully, two months later, the flying foxes returned.
Before I go on, I do have to apologise. I said that I would write a bat observation activity straight after my Hendra Virus post but I couldn’t because we didn’t have a bat colony to observe anymore. So, now they are back, I hope this post will make up for the delay.
I really want to encourage you to visit a bat colony and observe these flying mammals. You will learn so much just by taking some quiet time, near their roosting site, to sit and watch. It’s such a simple activity but there’s so much to learn and so much to see.
When we found out they were back, we were so excited. Miss Possum and I took out our trusty binocular and went for a stroll down to the park.
• They are social animals that live in a family unit
• They hang upside down
• They turn right way up to pee and poo (Miss Possum loved this information. Why do kids like anything poo related?!)
• They sleep with their wings curled around them
• There are different types of bats. Some that live in caves and some that live in trees
• They’re nocturnal
• The bats appeared to fight for better roosting sites
• Sometimes a dominant bat would make the submissive bat fly to another location in the colony
• They fought by hitting and pushing each other. Sometimes they would bite each other too.
• They made lots of noise when they were fighting
• They talk to each other as a way to communicate
Remember never to touch bats. If bitten by an infected bat, humans can contract a disease called the Lyssavirus. If you find a sick or injured bat, put a box or washing basket over it and ring a wildlife rescue organisation, like Wildcare.
Miss Possum fell in love with bats from an earlier bat activity and although these are a different type of bat, watching them has strengthened her affection for them. And although she may occasionally still call them wombats by accident, she knows much more about bats, how they live and where. The act of observing wild animals is the simplest and perhaps one the most enjoyable ways to encourage a love of wildlife
Do you like bats? What animals have you and your children watched lately?