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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Found: One Small, Lethargic Bat

We discovered a lone bat on the ground today, under the oaks near Mountain Meadow Road. It is quite tiny (under 2 inches in body length, excluding the tail) and seemed lethargic (no surprise, as it would normally be hidden in a roost at this time of the day). I photographed it and then we relocated it to the interior of a large manzanita bush for the time being. I checked on it about a half hour ago, and it was hanging upside down in a "healthy-looking" posture (for a bat) in the manzanita. We were highly cautious in its handling in case it was rabid.

Perhaps California Myotis or Long-legged Myotis? Any bat experts are welcome to help with identification!

6 comments:

  1. I would definitely be cautious as well. I had a friend up in Anza that had a bat fly into his hair, got caught and bit his forehead. They killed the bat and sure enough it had rabies. He went through a lengthy painful procedure of enduring numerous rabies vaccine shots.
    BTW, My wife and I just went through your neck of the woods on Monday. We head back to Sweden on Monday at 6:00pm in the evening

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    1. Yes, I'm not exactly interested in flirting with rabies...! The bats do swoop past my black light (that I put out to attract insects) and the thought of a hair-entanglement is a bit sobering...

      I bet you would agree it's awfully dry hereabouts! Two winters of about half the normal rainfall. We did get about 0.12 inches yesterday though.

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    2. Oddly enough I found a Motherload Goldmine of PT mycorrhizal truffles over at Desert Viewpoint just south of Julian on Hwy 79 last Monday coming back from my brother's place in Ranchita. What caught my suspicion was the vigorous health of the chaparral, oaks and Cypress over there as compared to the drought stressed ecosystems I've encountered everywhere else. I many places the chaparral hasn't even put on any new growth this season and every the invasive non-native weeds fared terribly. Sure enough I found numerous cobblestone looking dried truffles from this past Springtime fruiting bloom in between shrubs. I'll write about it sometime this week or next. I also found Humbolt Lily growing through some of the chaparral. Made my whole day. Of course I had to collect some for truffles for spore inoculation on my mother and brother's Engelmann Oaks and Foothill pine.

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    3. Nice find! We passed by there today (but I had not read your post). There seems to have been quite a lot of rain (possibly a couple inches) that fell in San Felipe Creek two days ago (we were down there this morning also). Some insects were already out that I normally don't see down there.

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  2. Definitely be careful! Our daughter was taking swimming lessons one summer at the College of the Desert pool. As she swam across the 12' deep diving pool, to my horror she ran into a bat in the water! Turns out, it wasn't rabid, just got disoriented and landed in the pool! We did have some scary days,however. My college roommate studied bats at the University of Redlands and would go out every night to observe them.
    Cheryl Ann

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    1. The last thing you expect in a POOL, I'd say ; - ) Glad it was a happy ending.

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