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Bats in the belfry…

By 14 March 2010 24

Went to Commonwealth Park today and saw fruit bats in the trees.  

First time I’ve seen fruit bats in Canberra in the decades I’ve been here.

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24 Responses to Bats in the belfry…
#1
Clown Killer12:57 pm, 14 Mar 10

I’m sure that we’ve had bats in Commonwealth Park before. I recall that some years ago there was concern for the welfare of the trees that they were roosting in (do bats roost?), that and worries about whether or not they might be capable of spreading the Hendra virus or some such thing.

I like to watch them though. There’s something rather primordial about the way that they fly.

#2
Dazzlar1:25 pm, 14 Mar 10

Ugh, bats. Annoying, screeching, fruit stealing guano machines!

GET RID OF THEM NOW!

#3
DeadlySchnauzer4:05 pm, 14 Mar 10

They have appeared seasonally in canberra every now and then for a while now, although if they take up permanent residence then its a sure sign that global warming is taking hold (fruit bats hate cold weather).

#4
sunshine4:19 pm, 14 Mar 10

i remember a couple of years ago when one somehow entered my house and i thought …oh what a funny looking little bird…had a closer look and noticed it was actually a bat!!! freaked me out AND my son had just been watching a vampire movie. scared us silly but oh so cute. awwww

#5
Skidbladnir5:09 pm, 14 Mar 10

They’re here some years and not the next., although they are pretty active around Weston this year.
But bats are about fifty times cooler than most people think.
Leave them be.

#6
gimmeth8:06 pm, 14 Mar 10

Haven’t they heard that the rebate scheme has been cancelled, and so they have to install themselves at full cost?

#7
Thumper8:54 pm, 14 Mar 10

love em.. used to get giant flying foxes when i lived in townsville, and also, many, many years ago, in giralang, where they used to eat my figs.

#8
dusty10:45 pm, 14 Mar 10

Theres been a couple visiting my plum tree each night for the last couple of weeks. They are noisy flyers They look pretty big too! Been here 20 years never seen them here before

#9
prhhcd9:15 am, 15 Mar 10

yeah there seems to be more of them this year – see them around Fraser a fair bit. Awesome creatures!

#10
eh_steve9:29 am, 15 Mar 10

Perhaps it’s the first time you’ve been to Commonwealth Park in decades? They’re usually there until about May, I have a fig tree outside my window, and the sound of them fighting over figs and flapping around at 1 am doesn’t really endear them to me.

#11
spinact9:50 am, 15 Mar 10

gimmeth said :

Haven’t they heard that the rebate scheme has been cancelled, and so they have to install themselves at full cost?

Ba ha ha ha ha

#12
Aurelius10:31 am, 15 Mar 10

We have some in our fig tree just outside our bedroom window.
When they eat, their wings rub the leaves, and it sounds like we’ve been invaded by hordes of sentient plastic shopping bags.

#13
Thumper11:50 am, 15 Mar 10

I hate being invaded by hordes of sentient plastic shopping bags….

#14
soilduck1:34 pm, 15 Mar 10

DeadlySchnauzer said :

They have appeared seasonally in canberra every now and then for a while now, although if they take up permanent residence then its a sure sign that global warming is taking hold (fruit bats hate cold weather).

I think they are definitely bigger in numbers this year. There have also been unusla reportings in Tumut and the Snowy Mountains. Looks like the apple centre (Batlow) may be eaten out by the bats! Global warming and habitat destruction is a possibility for their larger numbers.

#15
krats2:03 pm, 15 Mar 10

Dazzlar said :

Ugh, bats.

Annoying, screeching, fruit stealing guano machines!

GET RID OF THEM NOW!

There are no bats.

#16
Mimiboo7:56 pm, 15 Mar 10

I want one as a pet.

#17
Thumper11:40 pm, 15 Mar 10

yep, like everything and anything, it’s global warming.

No doubt.

I think I’ll start eating them on a kerbab.

#18
Grrrr3:09 pm, 16 Mar 10

The bats were making themselves known to everyone sitting up the back at Tropfest.

Look up in the sky pretty much anywhere in suburbia a little after dark and you’ll see a few flying around.

Also, over the last couple of years I’ve had a couple of them crash into me whilst I was riding at Majura Pines at dusk. It seems their sonar isn’t actually that great!

#19
krats7:46 pm, 16 Mar 10

Thumper said :

yep, like everything and anything, it’s global warming.

No doubt.

I think I’ll start eating them on a kerbab.

Do not tell KFC or Maccas,I can see the add now…Yum!!!97% fat free,bat on stick.

#20
Russ9:10 pm, 16 Mar 10

As an orchardist in Pialligo, they’ve been devastating. They were also very bad in 2008, causing one orchard to shut down while they work out what to do. Another who has lost a lot of fruit to cockatoos so far this season is now quickly losing the rest of their crop to bats, and plans to pick what’s left and will be closed by Easter (the apple season usually goes until June).

They start arriving at 8pm, they’re almost impossible to scare off – gas guns and birdfrite shells do little to deter them – we drive down the rows and scare them off, but they’re back within 20 minutes.

They’re also the most appalling creatures – they urinate as they feed, covering the apples in horrible black muck, and they also urinate as they fly – particularly if scared, making it particularly gross to go down the rows when they’re around.

One orchard has already begun the very expensive exercise of netting their orchard, and it looks like we’ll have to do the same – it seems nothing else works.

#21
Beau Locks8:02 am, 17 Mar 10

Russ–sorry to hear about your woes at Pialligo.

I first noticed them when I was riding home the other night and nearly fell off me treadly with surprise when I was crossing the lake and looked up to see thousands of bats above me. I watched them for about five minutes, and they still kept coming. Amazing.

#22
Phemie9:26 am, 21 Mar 10

Bats are eating my grapes in Wanniassa in my first currawong free season. Thanks for the information about the black urine, Russ. I was eating the grapes while I was reading your post, so I wasn’t happy initially, but believe me it’s best to know. I have found them easy to scare, but the sight of me wandering out in my nightie and slippers, wondering what the noise is about, scares most mortal things.

I don’t think that they are much worse than birds that poop as they eat or possums that have huge territorial disputes over your fruit. It’s just that Canberra boasts such a huge selection of living things other than humans and their companion animals. All of these creatures, from the humble ant to the majestic kangaroo, think that your fruit, fish pond, vegies, chickens, house and fittings are theirs rather than yours.

This is my first bat year. I suppose this means my residence will be on the bat touring map from now on, particularly as commercial growers are sensibly netting most of their fruit. Between you and me, I blame the expansion of the winery belt around Canberra, not global warming, as the source of this new scourge. However, as I love Canberra wines, I will have to learn to take the rough with the smooth.

#23
Simonster10:58 am, 16 Jul 10

I have fruit bats in my backyard in Dickson in the middle of July! This is clearly not autumn anymore so why are they here? They’ve been coming in to feed in one tree over the last week or 2, roosting somewhere else.

#24
mojo12:37 pm, 18 Jul 10

I have one fruit bat roosting in our gum tree in O’Connor right now. Middle of winter…what is going on?

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