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Grey-headed Flying Fox

Pteropus poliocephalus

We have bats in South Dakota! You see them every once in awhile. In summer, right at sunset or shortly thereafter, I can sometimes see one or two flying around, chasing mosquitos and other small flying insects. Or at night sometimes, if I leave the back porch light on, I'll open the patio door to let the dogs out, and one will swoop by, chasing moths and other critters attracted to the light. Unnerving to have one fly past when you're not expecting it!

But...those are little, sparrow-sized things! When in Australia, our first encounter with one of their bat species was when having supper one evening at an outside cafe in Cairns. As we're sitting there, a massive critter with a 3+ foot wingspan comes flying over the sidewalk where we're sitting. Then another. And another. And another. Impressive creatures! But it wasn't until later in our trip, when we were in Centennial Park in Sydney, that we really got good looks at them. Many hundreds of Grey-headed Flying Fox roost in the trees in the park during the day. Even during the day, they're still moving around a bit, and are vocalizing a LOT.

Impressive critters, and for me, one of the wildlife highlights of the trip.

Grey-headed Flying Fox - Pteropus poliocephalus

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