Someone posted a question about photographing bats recently on the ‘Meet Your Neighbours’ Facebook page. Here is a picture of a Common Tent-making Bat (Uroderma bilobatum) that I photographed in Costa Rica a few weeks back using the same set-up I used for the bird shots.
These bats make nifty day-time roost sites in understory palms of the rainforest. They chew partway through the leaflets on a single frond, causing them to droop down and create a ‘tent’ of sorts. They like to make a large number of tents within their territory and change their roost site frequently so they don’t fall prey to sharp-eyed predators who may recognize the shape of their unique shelter. Tents that have not been used for a while often become a favored site for paper wasps to build their nests, so check these hideouts from a safe distance when you’re looking for these bats – you might be in for an unpleasant surprise!
Twan is the director of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History. You can visit rtpi.org for more information.