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Evening Bat - Nycticeius humeralis



05.21.2006 - This is a close-up photo of an Evening Bat - Nycticeius humeralis. I found it in a home here in Florida. It had been living in the attic of the house with the rest of the colony, but a baby bat, possibly its own, got separated and crawled down the walls of the house, and out into a gap next to the oven vent, and into the kitchen of the home. The adult female bat chased after it, and ended up in the home as well. Once inside, it had no idea how to get out, and was stuck. I was called by the terrified homeowners, and when I arrived, the bat was lying down and exhausted. I took some photos, including this nice closeup, and removed the bat. I had no idea about the baby bat at the time, but the homeowners called me again the following day when they discovered the baby. So I'm only guessing that the adult followed the baby down, but this is a very reasonable guess. Evening Bats have their young in mid-April. Thus, by May 21st, the young are pretty much toddlers - not yet able to fly, but able to crawl. Like all toddlers, they don't know what they are doing, and so it wandered off and crawled into the house. An adult bat usually would never do such a thing - they know enough to stay in the attic, and only emerge at night to fly outside and eat insects. The adults have no interest in entering a house, where surprisingly few insects and surprisingly hysterical people dwell.

Once again, I ought to stress two things - first of all, a bat in the house is not going to land in anyone's hair, or fly onto anyone's neck to suck blood, or anything crazy like that. The bat will merely fly around, confused. However, I also want to stress that no one should attempt to pick up a bat on the ground - this is the manner in which nearly all cases of rabies transmission occur in North America. I'm not sure if the Evening Bat is a common rabies vector. By the looks of the animal's teeth and canines (the word "fangs" would probably not apply) in the above photo, one might assume that this creature is out for blood. But no, it's out for small moths and beatles. Fancy that! I think this bat is one of the handsomer bat species. I wouldn't call it cuddly, as some bat enthusiasts would, but it's an okay looking species. Certainly more attractive than the mugs on those Free-Tail bats. Long round-edged ears, reasonable nose, velvety fur, brown eyes, ...yes, I'd date a female Evening Bat if it came down to it.

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