Monday, June 17, 2024

Our first bat...

Boy, was I surprised two mornings ago when I opened our back porch screened door. Something fell and hit my head, then plopped on the concrete porch. I looked down. At first, I thought it was mud. Then I thought frog. Then I looked closer.....BAT! It had been sleeping between the top of the door and door frame. I fetched a cloth napkin and picked him up gently. Then we put it in a large plastic critter box. I noticed a lot of ugly red insects on his legs. Definitely parasites. Could it be sick or injured? I called Wildlife Rescue in Kendalia, and Amber called me back. She assured me that the bugs were normal and to put the bat on a vertical tree or fence post. If he wasn't gone by in the morning, call her back.

So we took him out to a big live oak in our back yard. I set him above a little alcove with the napkin. He tucked into the alcove, snoozed there all day and was gone by dark. 

Then yesterday evening, James said, "Sweetheart, come see who's back!" It was our bat, sleeping behind the orange water bucket that we keep out to collect air conditioner condensation (bottom photo). Using a cloth napkin, I moved him back to his oak alcove. Of course, he was gone this morning. No sign of him yet today.


Naturally, I had to sleuth and find out what species of bat our friend is. Not to mention those ugly bugs. My first thought was Mexican free-tailed bat, but I was wrong. This is likely an evening bat (Nycticeius humeralis), a young male. And those ugly bugs? I counted legs...six. Probably a true bug....a bed bug? Close! Those are bat bugs in the same genus as bed bugs, Cimex. Who knew? Bat bugs! I got off as many as I could from our little friend.


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