Friday, June 7, 2019
June 6, 2019 - Looking in on a colony of Mexican / Brazilian Free-Tailed Bats who call Palmetto Bay their home.
Are you really aware of the plants and animals that call Palmetto Bay home?
There was quite a rare air crowd present at the home of Council Member David Singer and family on Thursday, June 6, 2019. We waited with anticipation for the daily departure of the homesteaded bats, identified as Mexican / Brazilian Free-Tailed Bats. We were told that there are pups at this time of year, so a scope was used to invade the bat habitat and observe them pre-evening departure.
This Bat colony was reviewed by Melquisedec Gamba-Rios, Ph.D., BCI Research Fellow / Florida Bonneted Bat Initiative, Bat Conservation International, batcon.org and Frederick Hubbard, Director, patchofheavensanctuary.org
This was a great evening in Palmetto Bay - that is if you are a Bat-fan! (And I am!). My photography skills are limited as I was unable to get one of the bats to hold a pose for a photo.
We were told that the southeastern free-tailed bats commonly roost in buildings and under bridges in urban areas, where they form relatively large colonies with individuals typically numbering in the hundreds to thousands. Roosting together in large colonies allows baby bats, called pups, to remain behind in the warmth, comfort, and safety of the colony while the mothers leave the roost to feed.
The subspecies that occurs in the southeastern United States, including Florida, is Tadarida brasiliensis cynocephala.
These bats are the fastest mammals on earth and have been clocked at 99 mph in level flight (can't we give them a round up?!).
They can fly as high as 10,000 feet and forage on tons of harmful pest insects daily.
These bats are communal. They are known to form mega colonies that number in the hundreds of thousands, with the largest known maternity colony reaching nearly 20 million bats.
We are fortunate to have a colony of the Mexican / Brazilian Free-Tailed Bat here in Palmetto Bay - we welcome their evening feasts on pests such as mosquitoes.
CLICK HERE to read more about the Mexican / Brazilian Free-Tailed Bat on the National Park Service Everglades website.
Here is the link to the page of Bat Conservation International, specific to this Mexican / Free-Tailed Bat subspecies: http://www.batcon.org/resources/media-education/species-profiles/detail/1738
Please visit the respective web sites posted above - support our local environment including preserving the 22 acres on Old Cutler Road.
SPECIAL NOTE: Thank you Palmetto Bay Council Member David Singer and family for being great hosts, both on Thursday, June 6, as well hosts to our Bat-friends who are trying to make a go of it here in suburban Palmetto Bay - I can check Bats off my list of the wide range of creatures that call Palmetto Bay home.