Monday, August 29, 2011

Batty in Pátzcuaro

Yesterday, before dawn, the sound of something falling awakened me instantly. My eyes went from sleep to wide open. Somebody or something was in my house. I arose silently. Something else fell. It was in my bathroom. I padded over to the door quietly. There was something large flying around frantically and it knocked a third item over on the counter. As I turned toward the window where a small window pane was open, it landed on my back and grabbed on to my shirt.  We like bats, but that made me jerk my shoulders. My interest did not extend to providing piggy-back service.


I am most familiar with this Mexican Free-Tailed Ba species.
Our Pátzcuaro birder par excellence, Georgia Conti, identifies one local species as a murciélago nevado.

Mr/Ms Murciélago let go and flapped all around the bedroom. I isolated it in there by closing the bathroom and the hall door and opened wide two large side-by-side window panes. I slipped out and went to prepare my first-cup-of-the-day-heavenly-coffee. When I came back the bat had found its way out to freedom.

This morning, about the same time, I awoke more gradually  to the sound of flaps cruising around above me in the bedroom. Funny. Since I knew what it was, today’s bat seemed definitely smaller than yesterday’s. I arose and opened the windows but never saw the bat go out. When daylight came I checked all the vigas and tejamanil inside the house but found no little creature clinging. I hope it got out. I will check again.

There are roughly 4,000 mammal species in the world. Of those, almost 25% are bats. (You can search for precise numbers.) Many plants of desert eco-systems would disappear if bats did not pollinate the night-opening flowers. Bats get a bad rap because of the three known species of vampire bats; you are more likely to suffer from a mosquito-bourne disease than to be bitten by a bat.

Check out Bat Conservation International.

Patzcuaro flora and fauna.
Get batty in Patzcuaro.


Felipe Zapata said...

Bats are grand critters, but better outside the house than inside.

Tracy Novinger said...

The little guy/gal did not get out. It was niched among the bedroom vigas and tejamanil during the day. When I went to bed to read, this time it started careening around the room crazily at night. Its radar sure was not taking it out either of two very large windows. After 1 1/2 hours of flappy company (I was getting chilled with the air coming in through the open windows), this time I saw Murci, as I dubbed it, leave to the freedom of the night sky.