Being the wildlife enthusiast that I am, when someone happened to mention there was a fruit bat colony on the coast, I immediately wanted to go check it out. I had never seen a fruit bat, or flying fox, before, except for the occasional dark shadow of one flying over our house on dusk.
So early on Sunday morning we drove out to Cascades Gardens in Surfers Paradise and sure enough, as soon as we arrived, you could hear the bats in the trees as well as see them still flying in to roost.
Here’s a video I took where you can hear all the racket the bats are making. Check out the little guy near the end of the video climbing down the tree branch like a monkey!
The bats were a lot bigger than I had expected. I have since discovered that fruit bats or flying foxes are also called megabats and these black flying foxes are the biggest bats in Australia – their body length can be up to 30cm (12 in) in length and have a wingspan of over 1m (3 ft)!
These flying foxes have the cutest little fox like faces with lovely big eyes. They are a really interesting animal to watch.
Take a look at these cuties –
Here’s one flying fox I saw stretching his wings.
Here’s a video I took of two flying foxes having a scratch. Hilarious!
Here are some bats in classic Dracula pose –
My husband managed to capture these shots of bats in flight –
And he also got a quick video of a bat flying too –
All in all, it was a very interesting visit to the Cascades Gardens, and I’d like to go back later in the year when the flying foxes have babies. And I’ll remember to wear a hat next time ….
Some fun facts about flying foxes –
- They have one live young per year
- A baby bat is called a pup
- The area where bats congregate is called a campsite
- A group of bats is called a colony or a camp
- Fruit bats can live up to 20 years in the wild
- They eat pollen, nectar and fruit off native trees
- Fruit bats rely on their sense of smell and keen sight to find food instead of using echolocation