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The Flying Battista Sisters!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mirabel (left), Stella (right).

There were many nights when I never thought I'd see what you're about to see. It was odd--the bats just sort of coasted along, taking baby steps, until bam! one fine night they were ready for release. And yet…each night there was a little improvement. Mirabel, always the logy flier, makes two circuits of the tent without landing. And then two and a half. And then three. Stella does four, each small step forward a fresh cause for celebration. I’d come in and tell Bill and the kids what the bats had done that night. 

This video was taken on The Big Night, May 13, when there was no question in my mind that these bats needed to be OUT and AWAY from this flight tent that had been their home for the last month. That they were wild things and they could take care of themselves perfectly well, no more coddling, no more dishes of mealworms. They were onto moths in the clear night sky now; they would be finding a roost with other bats. Maybe Mirabel would even be delivering her baby soon, if baby there be. And Stella? A mate would find her this fall and the cycle would begin all over again. I hoped that she wouldn't find her way into a heated house in February again, hoped that they'd both be good girls and not go spelunking in walls or roosting in backpacks. I hoped the weather would treat them right this coming winter, would lull them to sleep and keep them there, not send them out looking for moths on a 65-degree night when there were no moths to be had.

I hoped that they'd both live into their 30's and that I'd never see them again. Most of all, I thanked them for all they'd taught me. Through their example, I'd know how to treat any bats that came my way in the future, and by writing about it, I could teach others what to do and what NOT to do for these dear little waifs of the winter night.

You'll see Stella first and Mirabel second, prodded back into flight after having circled the tent for 15 minutes. And then you'll see Stella, the next morning, shocked that I'd woken her up. She and Mirabel were going into town for release!

Astute viewers will also note my bare fingers being used to prod Mirabel back into flight. Well, I can't operate the video camera with gloves on, can I? Rest assured that a. this is the first time I'd touched either of them with bare hands and b. they'd been in "quarantine" for more than 100 days (the recommended time is 41 days) and they were most certainly not rabid and c. it felt fantastic to finally touch those cool fine membranes and that impossibly soft moley fur.

Next: Where to put them??


What a grin I have on my face and that furry little blonde was smiling for the camera,too. Good job, Batwoman! There was a tent full of excitement and joy, all the way around.

Congrats, mom! The bats have left the nest.

Absolutely fantastic! Congratulations!

That was Batarific!!! (...or was it Batastic!!?)

Ah! Fabulous movie BatgirlZick! I could watch it again and again ( and I probably will)

Kathy in Delray Beach(really McGregor MN on the way to Carrington ND festival. WooHoo!)

Posted by Anonymous June 13, 2012 at 4:19 AM

Oh, to hear you coo to your bats as I do to mine.
But to touch that fur--must have been unforgettable. Man, that is some beautiful footage--congratulations and love,xxoom.

Posted by Anonymous June 16, 2012 at 5:50 PM

I don't often post here anymore but I still read and I have so enjoyed Mirabel and Stella. And has anyone ever told you you sound like Ellen DeGeneres?

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