Sunday, January 15

A bat in the backyard

While puttering about the garden, I saw a small pile of talisay (Terminalia catappa) fruit on the ground together with a small unripe macopa (Syzygium samarangense) fruit. This was several feet away from the nearest tree of either species. The talisay fruit was gnawed down to the seed, bite marks very clearly scarring the surfaces. Hmmmm...

Having some idea of the culprit, I looked up, and sure enough, there was a tiny bat hanging upside down from the tree canopy above me.

Ooops, I think I've been spotted! Here's the little bat taking a look down at me looking up at him.

How cool!

Frugivorous bats are well-known dispersers of talisay seeds, so if you come across a talisay seedling with no mother plant nearby, this flying mammal could be your sower.

I've always wondered where the bats I hear flying around at night roost.  Nice to know the garden is home to another wild animal.

(And yes, I scattered the pile of seeds after I took the photo... didn't want my mom finding about our furry friend. I don't think she would be pleased.)

UPDATE: My friend (and wildlife biologist) JC identified batty as Cynopterus brachyotis, lesser dog-faced fruit bat (common short-nosed fruit bat, lesser short-nosed fruit bat).  And this weekend, when I checked, there were two of them! Hope they hang around (haha).

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