Jun 28, 2014

It's raining red bats in Texas

Photo by Josh Henderson.

Bonnie Bradshaw, founder and director of 911Wildlife has been busy responding to calls about "grounded" red bats. Mother red bats. 


Photo by Chris Harshaw.


The female bats are suffering from exhaustion caused by what Bonnie calls - Failure to Launch.

Red bats are unique in that they are solitary - they don't live in groups in caves, or crevices, but singly, in trees. 

During the day, a red bat will fold its wings and hang in a tree (upside down - bat-style), and look quite like a dried leaf. At dusk, it will take flight for a night of hunting moths and other insects, but may not return to the same tree to roost.






Red bats usually have three to four young - more than any other bat. 

When the babies are young, the mother carries them with her on her night flights. As they get older, she carries them when changing roost locations. 

Red bat babies are able to fly at about 3 weeks and are weaned, usually, at five or six weeks. Usually.


Photo by Josh Henderson.

The bats found grounded in Texas, were females with young that were still clinging to her, even though they could fly - Failure to Launch. 

The mothers become so exhausted - weak, dehydrated, that they just drop out of the sky.One mother (pictured below), was found with 5 babies clinging to her.


This mother bat is so exhausted, she's resting on her back. Photo by Bonnie Bradshaw.

The rescued bats, mothers and young, were transported to a licensed bat rehabilitator where they will be cared for for a few days before being set free.

Find out more about Bat World, in Texas, a leading authority on bats and bat rehabilitation and how you can support their program, HERE.


A REMINDER: NEVER TOUCH OR HANDLE A BAT. THEY ARE CONSIDERED A RABIES VECTOR SPECIES AND WILL BE EUTHANIZED FOR TESTING IF A PERSON OR PET IS THOUGHT EXPOSED. 

AS THIS STORY HIGHLIGHTS, NOT ALL GROUNDED BATS ARE SICK OR SUFFERING FROM RABIES. MANY ARE SIMPLY EXHAUSTED.