Dec 2, 2008

Night Scene at the Feeder

What's more quaint than a patio eave festooned with decorative hummingbird feeders? I've always wanted one, and now I want one even more.

Turns out that hummingbirds aren't the only winged creatures who show up to dine on the nectar. Down in Tucson, AZ, US, especially when agaves aren't blooming as much, nectivorous bats take their turn sipping at the feeders.

Photo source: The Firefly Forest

















T. Beth Kinsey of The Firefly Forest reports that two varieties of bats show up at her feeders: the lesser long-nosed bat (there they go again, adding lesser to the name) and the Mexican long-tongued bat. You can see both varieties below (in order).



















































The bats all seem to get along for the most part (it's hard to stay in a fighting mood when you're drinking nectar), but not always. Some turf wars do break out, though no one gets hurt. The bats access the nectar in different ways. Since they can't hover, some do sipping fly-bys and then circle around for more. Others just lie down in the tray and sip away (I share a lot in common with this latter group).

Animals go where the food is. You leave out cat food, and every stray in the area will show up (including raccoons, possums, etc.). Leave out pizza, and I'll show up. You leave out blood, and you'll get vampires. Leave out nectar, and you just might have to keep your doors open for both the day and the night crowds. And the only tips either will leave you come in the form of droppings.

15 comments:

Vanessa said...

I ADORE bats, they're the bestest!

Bone Artist said...

I'm sure the bats really appreciate the thoughtful little gift left out for them. Especially since, in the wild, they often get that nectar from cacti, and thus risk a serious poking just to get supper.

Danielle said...

Oh my gosh, that is too cool!

Denita TwoDragons said...

I used to get hawk moths at my feeders! They also loved my moonflower vines, too. That is, before the deer began eating them down to the ground... :-/

--TwoDragons

Theodosia said...

I would give anything to have nectar sipping bats in my backyard. Alas, in MA it ain't gonna happen....

linty said...

i just learned something! yay!

bonni said...

Wow, that's cool. I love bats!

When I was a kid in Arizona we had a hummingbird feeder. We used to see hummingbirds fairly regularly, but I never saw any bats, probably because, well, I was a kid and had to go to bed and all that. Now I'm wondering if there were ever any bats dining out in the backyard while I slept. What a happy thought.

niner said...

Whew, glad I'm not the only one that thought this was cute and wonderful. What a special treat. Wonder if they remember and come back to the same place! Very awesome photos.

LisaL said...

That is very cool! Bats don't bother me so long as they don't have one of those weird mangled up looking faces. lol

meg said...

I love that last photo!

elyse said...

That is so cool!

Leesa said...

I've never wanted to put up a feeder before until now. What an adorably cute set of photos. I love bats!

bats :[ said...

It was discovered that bats were responsible for this when feeders that were full or mostly-full at sunset were mysterious empty the next morning...hmmmm....
Yay for los moochachos!

Anonymous said...

I wish! I love bats too. They are mostly very cute

Anonymous said...

Awh say what you will but Bats are adorable.
The tiny glossy button eyes, the delicate bones in the wings, the cover of fuzzy velvet fur on their tummies and lets not forget the ittybitty lil legs sticking out in the back... So cute!