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The Bats of Melbourne
My Neighbourhood Bats
Each evening I stand on my porch to watch thousands of bats leave their roost to feed on nectar and fruit in the suburbs. They pass so close I can hear their wings beat.
During the day I walk along the creek to the river and marvel at the sheer numbers of these strange creatures hanging in the trees on the riverbank. How can they sleep upside down?
Bats are a vulnerable species
There are lots of Australian bats, the ones who live on the river behind me are the Grey-headed Flying-fox (Pteropus poliocephalus), or fruit bats.
These little mammals are a nationally vulnerable species and Melbourne is an important place for them. Come for a short stroll from my house and you'll see them,
There's no way to say this gently
We take the telescope down to the river so the grandkids can look at the bats close up.
The kids always pull a face as the we get closer to the sleeping bats, the smell is pretty strong. Bats pong! is what the children say, but I don't mind the smell at all. It's an animal smell, musky and gamey, with a strong undercurrent of eucalyptus.
Get your own Bat
Webkinz bats come with a special Internet code so you can interact with it online
Bats sleeping in the rain
Bats have no bankers and they do not drink and cannot be arrested and pay no tax and, in general, bats have it made.
Close Encounter of the Bat kind
This little fruitbat is being cared for by WildLife officers until he's well enough to be released.
What is that little bat eating?
Make your choice
A landing in the rain
Unless otherwise stated, images by Susanna Duffy
© 2010 Susanna Duffy