Yes! We have bats visiting our hummingbird feeder. Not only do we have hummingbirds, finches, orioles and woodpeckers at our lovely feeding station, we can now add bats to the visitor’s list!
I’m sure we’ve had them visit in the past, but we have not kept our feeder filled each night to entice them back.
This year, when we noticed our water disappear, we did a little internet research and learned they would be one of two bats, the Mexican long-tongued bat or the endangered lesser long-nosed bat.
Our county library website shared some interesting facts:
- They generally feed on agave, saguaro bloom, organ pipe and cardon cacti. Most nectar bats do not feed on red flowers, but the bats have adjusted to the red of hummingbird feeders.
- The bats have also learned to dine on Mexican bird of paradise and Prickly Pear fruit. Even though the bats cannot get past Prickly Pear spines, they scavenge prickly pear fruit that had been plucked and opened by other animals.
- Bats cannot hover so they use the feeder differently from the hummingbirds. The bat will stall, shoot their impressively long tongues up to six times a second into the feeder, and as they begin to fall will flap their wings.
- Bats and hummingbirds do not harm each other, we just need to fill our feeder each morning for the hummingbirds (and we let the bats empty it each night).
- Bats can easily drain a hummingbird feeder. A single Mexican long-tongued bat can consume 0.67 of an ounce, in 106 minutes. The bat takes in 96 percent of their body weight. (They swell like a water balloon.) Then the bat will hang upside down and quickly digest the sugar water. Then the bat will urinate and return to the feeder for more sugar water.
My guess is that they are just emptying the feeder and moving on. I doubt it lasts over 100 minutes!
After the first night, we filled it and waited to see if they’d come back. After we were ready for bed and the lights were dimmed I decided to take my flashlight and peek out the back window.
WOW! I had no idea I’d see a flurry of bats zipping around our small yard and attacking the feeder!
Well, then I had to check every night and I’ve taken several cell phone videos through the glass. The flashlight didn’t seem to scare them off, and after some practice, I got a half way decent video. I am totally fascinated! And very glad I realized they were out there.
I wonder what would happen if I walked out back without realizing? Yikes! 😱
I think they will only be around for a few days, as I believe they will soon migrate south. But I don’t really know. I’m not quite sure how long my husband will continue to fill the feeder for them! 😊 However, we are both just mesmerized by their activities.
I hope you enjoy the video.
Creepy cool bats!
It was brilliant moonlight, and the soft effect of the light over the sea and sky, merged together in one great silent mystery, was beautiful beyond words. Between me and the moonlight flitted a great bat, coming and going in great whirling circles.
~ Dracula, by Bram Stoker; CHAPTER 8 Page 5