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Flight-training Bats

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

This is what a torpid bat (i.e. one who's been roosting at under 55 degrees) does when you pick it up. Unable to make a quick escape with her cold muscles and slow metabolism, she'll spread her wings and gape like an addled opossum, looking as big and fearsome as she can. Not many people want to mess with a bat who's doing that.  I am one exception.

I've been blogging since December 2005, which seems an eternity ago, and I've only just gotten moderately conversant with video. As in, I can point the camera, remember to shut my gob while it's rolling, and now I am beginning to have the faintest germ of knowledge of what to do with that video when I've got it uploaded to my Mac. Thank goodness for iMovie. However, I'm not home free, even when I've got it edited and put together. I still can't upload them to YouTube from home. Our $90/month Hughes.Net Internet connection is too slow, too fraught with interruptions, to allow that. Ah, rural life. So I have to dump the files on a flash drive and send them into work with Bill, and he uploads them to YouTube from there. Then  when they're done he emails me their YouTube URL and then, and only then, may I upload them to my blog. Needless to say, the disincentive to put videos on my blog is large.

 Floridacracker, who posts fabulous vids on his PureFlorida blog, is a great inspiration to me. I don't know how he does all he does, but I wanna be him when I grow up. So this post kicks off a little series of videos of the Battista Sisters, mostly as a way to show you how neat they are in motion, how fun they are to work with, how endearing their little smacky worm-smeared chops, razor-sharp teeth and pointed pink tongues can be.

Precious! once you get used to it. She's just trying to look scary since she can't wriggle, being too cold. Fabulous dentition, a classic insectivore with a point on every tooth.

This video was made a few days before the girls were ready for release. As you can see, Stella lands on the ground a couple of times, once even on my wrist like a tiny furry leatherwinged falcon. Bats who are ready for release really shouldn't land on the ground, but if they do, they should be able to take right off and gain altitude. Stella does this and I'm thrilled.

I'm posting this to show how I work the bats to get them flying. I  gently annoy them just enough to get them to take off several times in rapid succession. It took them a little while to get the "hang" of landing on the nylon mesh tent walls, but once they did they'd stick there like a tossed burr.

Enjoy the video, hard won though it may be. Bat rehabilitators: this bat is close to releasable, but not quite ready for prime-time. Too many ground ditchings. That'll improve.

ZICK ALERT:  Come see me and Bill and get your copy of The Bluebird Effect and Bill's brand-new The Young Birder's Guide to North America signed and personalized at Sugden Bookstore, 282 Front Street, Marietta, Ohio, Friday, June 8, from 4-9 pm as part of our beautiful town's fabulous Merchants and Artists Walk on summer Fridays. Free ice cream (and extraneous minutiae).


She's so tiny! Very cool, thanks for sharing!

I appreciate your efforts to get this in your blog, given the technical hurdles in the way. She looks strong and nearly buff enough to release. I know you'll miss her...

I LOVE that fearsome look in the second picture! She's trying awfully hard to be convincing.

Fabulous, again...
I really DO think you should send your bat blogs to the French choreographer who just did a divine/crazy-sounding piece with real swans. Bats are his next project. Maybe he would have to bring you to Paris to authenticate movement...

Posted by Anonymous June 5, 2012 at 8:56 AM

You go Batgirl! but YIKES!... I didn't know it was possible to pay $90/mo. for internet service!!

Oh, you forgot a couple of words, Cyberthrush. It is possible, nay, necessary, to pay $90/month for *crappy, slow* Internet service. It's one of the hidden costs of rural living. Oh, but the rewards...

If you grew up to be me, you'd lose your artistic skill, your music abilities, and your fine singing voice.

You would still have expensive, crapalicious Hughesnet Internet service though.

I go through similar gyrations to get a video posted.

I love this video and we all love hearing your joy at Stella 's antics.

Aw, lookit her go! Posting the video is nothing compared to the hurdles you jumped to help these two girls survive the winter. You did great!

Love it
Kathy in Delray Beach

Posted by Anonymous June 8, 2012 at 12:42 AM
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