Panther Island Adventures!

Panther Island is 2,800 acres of restored wetland and upland habitats situated in the northwest corner of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary's 13,000 acres. It is home to numerous plants and animals including the Florida panther and the iconic wood stork.
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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hello all! You can't tell but this Big Brown bat is actually saying "Thanks for coming to Corkscrew International Bat Night presentation!"

Stay tuned for more critter, plant, etc. of the week posts starting up next week! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Another bat species: Mexican long-tongued bat (Choeronycteris mexicana)

Yet another bat species found in the United States is the Mexican long-tongued bat (Choeronycteris mexicana). A member of the Phyllostomidae family (leaf-nosed bats), this species is found throughout Mexico and into El Salvador and Honduras. They can be found in the far southern reaches of California, Arizona, and New Mexico where they are very rare. Apparently only females migrate to this region

I had the great joy of handling some of these gals while in Arizona, and I love their faces! Their long snouts and tongues are perfect for acquiring their food...nectar! Mexican long-tongued bats forage on nectar and pollen from plants such as agave (yeah...we need them for tequila!). They will also go to and forage from hummingbird feeders. But this supplement doesn't necessarily pack the wollop that their natural food sources do, and there is ongoing research to look at the impacts of hummingbird feeders on behavior of the bats.

See bats foraging on plants!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

International Bat Night... August 27th! Preregister for a program at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary!

The United Nations Environmental Programme has declared 2011-2012 the "Year of the Bat" and we at Corkscrew want to celebrate these fascinating and often persecuted and misunderstood creatures. I will be giving a presentation in the classroom at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary on Bats of the World from 6:45 until 7:45. Then we are going to go out to one of the bat houses and watch them emerge!

For more information, prices, etc. please contact Karin Becker via phone 239-348-9151 ext. 108 or email

Photo by Jennifer Beltran

Critter of the Week Aug. 15: Seminole Bat (Lasiurus seminolus)

So I must admit that I have great love for this particular species of bat because it is the first species I ever removed from a mist net on my own. Plus they are just beautiful!

Seminole bats (Lasiurus seminolus) are members of the Vespertilionidae family. They are found in the southeastern United States but seem to be closely tied to the distribution of Spanish moss (one of its preferred roosting sites). They also use pine trees. Seminole bats (like other Lasiurines) are solitary roosters and commonly are referred to as "tree" bats b/c of their roosting preferences.  They look very similar to other tree bats but their fur is typically a deep rich mahogany color and often the very tips of the fur have white "frosting" (as seen in the top photo). These insectivores feed primarily on moths, beetles, true bugs,  and flies (to name a few).

Monday, August 8, 2011

Critter of the Week Aug. 8: Pallid bat (Antrozus pallidus)

One of my all-time favorite bats is the pallid bat (Antrozus pallidus). I had the great joy of handling some of these guys when at a bat conservation and management workshop in Arizona. A member of the Vespertilionidae family, these insectivores are unique, even in the bat world. Their over-sized ears (even by bat standards!) allow them to detect insects by their footsteps! Their hearing is so amazing that they can respond with uncanny precision to split-second sounds from up to 16 ft away. After capturing its prey, it will carry its meal to a perch for consumption. They tend to like thicker, harder-bodied insects like beetles, crickets, and grasshoppers. Another cool pallid bat fact: they eat scorpions and are immune to scorpion stings!! Pallid bats are found in the western United States. These solitary bats typically roost in rock crevices, buildings and bridges in arid and semi-arid regions. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Bats in the Belfry!

In honor of the UNEP declaration of the year 2011-2012 as the Year of the Bat, the next few blogs will revolve around bats of the United States and other nations. And a special note, August 27th is International Bat Night! So look around in your community to see about any special programs.

Evening Bat captured in Southern Florida