Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Twilight War: Bird vs. Bat



These large fruit bats, sometimes called "flying foxes" find a big fruit tree to hang out in. But some local crows decide to take charge and get all the fruit for themselves. The bats give up their tree at first, but then strike back with a Vengence. Filmed near Galle in Sri Lanka.


As a child, vacationing with my family at Clearlake in Northern California, I remember seeing all the bats flying around the tops of oak trees at twilight on hot summer nights. I very specifically recall thinking sometimes as to what would happen during twilight when birds retiring for the evening might meet up with awakening nocturnal bats? At some point, I merely dismissed the concept as impossible, since the two are so different beyond the fact that both can fly.... avian and rodent, reptilian and mammal. It just "wouldn't happen," but if it ever did, they would probably just ignore each other. It was just like some weird concept that maybe seemed logical, but was easy to just dismiss.

"Flying foxes" are a type of tropical bat, the largest bats in the world; and who resemble a long-snouted fox more than the common notion of a "flying rodent." Some bats have been compared to primates, as they look somewhat monkey-like. They're a very interesting animal, fascinating to watch.

Crows, on the other hand, are found all over the world in different climates. They're fiercely territorial, as I can personally attest to, living very close to them. They aren't aggressive to humans, but drive other birds away. I saw several attack a sea gull and tear it apart some years ago. Just a few weeks ago I saw a falcon in a raven infested area. It landed on a chimney, and suddenly a raven landed nearby it and stared at it. Then another raven landed and did the same, which prompted the falcon to leave. Ravens are a type of crow.

The battle in this video stemmed from a fight for resources, which was not exactly something that I would have thought would bring them together. These species are so different. It's just a weird combination, but fascinating.


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