Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bats Quenching Their Thirst

Some rare photos of bats swooping down over a pond at night to drink. (Click to enlarge.)
"Travelling at 20mph, with wing beats not visible to the human eye and flying mostly at night the bats are notoriously difficult to photograph."

"They are so detailed you can even see the night creatures slurping from the pool with their little pink tongues."
Those tongues.

Photos were taken by Kim Taylor of Surrey, England. Here's Kim and his home-made set-up:

He suspended ropes to direct bats to a narrow swooping zone, used an infrared beam that triggered flash bulbs when a bat broke it, and attached a device to his camera that listened for ultrasonic squeaks which opened the shutter.

I love seeing this kind of devotion to a project.
Photos and story from Daily Mail, September 2009.


Anonymous said...

The perfect Halloween post, Bix. Thanks. Made me look up the Carlsbad Caverns bat exodus and I found this:

Bix said...

How about that - their grouping behavior changes based on air temperature.

I remember seeing a bat-filled cave as part of BBC's Planet Earth series a few years back. The photographers had to manage a 300-foot high pile of guano, which I didn't know at the time meant bat droppings. The enormous pile sustained an enormous colony of cockroaches. It was a sight! I can't find the clip of it.