Fruit Bats or Flying Foxes roosting in trees

Images 1-3 show Fruit Bats (Flying Foxes, Pteropus spp.) right in the town centre at Cairns, Queensland, Australia, roosting in trees with traffic and people all around. Images 3-6 show Spectacled Flying Foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) in the actual rainforest, the Daintree, at Cape Tribulation in Far North Queensland. Both colonies might be conspicillatus but shadows obscure the features of the Cairns bats so it is not possible to say with certainty they are Spectacled.

The short videos below show the colonies of bats. The first clip shows bats in Cairns making a hullabaloo as they squabble and jostle for space with the sound of traffic all around. The movie was taken around the middle of the day. I was not only very surprised to find a colony above the busy streets but amazed at the noise they made.

The second and third clips show bats roosting in the Daintree at Cape Tribulation. They are waking up, preening, yawning, and stretching, getting ready for flying out en masse at dusk. Here the setting was more peaceful. However, both colonies of bats made a spectacular cacophonous show as they flew out to forage for food when the sun set. A fantastic show for diners sitting out every evening. [Apologies for the wrong orientation of the clips but you can see the action regardless].

4 Replies to “Rainforest Fruit Bats”

  1. News extra – It is White Nose Syndrome caused by a fungus and affects hibernating insect-eating bats in the American continent. So,I don’t think it would affect the flying foxes I photographed in Australia.
    The National Wildlife Health Center says:

    “White-nose syndrome (WNS) is an emergent disease of hibernating bats that has spread from the northeastern to the central United States at an alarming rate. Since the winter of 2007-2008, millions of insect-eating bats in 19 states and four Canadian provinces have died from this devastating disease. The disease is named for the white fungus, Geomyces destructans, that infects skin of the muzzle, ears, and wings of hibernating bats.”

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