Monday, 13 June 2016

Mr Biscuit, the brown long-eared bat

Photos taken by S. Sivanesan at feeding time.
Diet of mealworms
Lovely as they are, I pretty much dread getting brown long-eared bats to look after; as they do not like being captive and often fail to thrive. Mr Biscuit (named by the family that found him) was an exceptional bat, that was able to increase his weight from 6gs to 8.5gs in only ten days. He quickly learnt how to feed himself on mealworms, a diet these animals would never encounter in the wild; and then he soon learnt how not to feed, in order to get me to feed him, so he could fall asleep in the warmth of my hand!

Taking liquid
Brown long-eared bats rarely leave the canopy of woodland and so they are usually found  at  few local sites in our urban landscape, including the greenbelt and the larger parks. The only known local maternity colony was lost a few years ago due to the development of Normansfield hospital and now all local records pertain to solitary animals (rather than a colony).  This one was returned to the area near Kingston bridge, where he was found last Friday. He flew three or four loops above us to orientate himself -allowing us to hear his quiet echolocation on the bat detector- and then completely disappeared.

Beautiful or what?

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