Bat Crashed Into Owl

08/19/2013

I love camera traps.  These hidden cameras are set out in nature and, when triggered by movement, snap photos of whatever wildlife happen to be passing by at the moment.  They're used by hunters and biologists to understand what species are present in a given area, and their movement patterns.

Every once in a while, some odd animal behavior is caught on camera.  This video shows just such an instance, when a bat flies right into an owl sitting on the ground.  Check it out and see below for some thoughts on what might be going on here.

 

The video was posted by blogger Camera Trap Codger, who speculates that perhaps the bat was having a malfuntion with its echolocation, which otherwise would have allowed it to easily avoid hitting a stationary object like the owl.  

Another thought posited is that maybe the bat was simply going in for an insect that happened to be flying around the owl's head.  Bats actually do this.  Where to you think the myth of bats attacking people and getting caught in their hair comes from?  That said, they reason the "bats in the hair" idea is a myth is that while bats often swoop close to larger animals to catch mosquitos seeking a blood meal from those animals, they are deft enough in flight to never hit the larger animal.

Most interesting to think about, because it's not documented bat behavior, is the theory that the bat might be harrrassing the owl, a potential predator, to drive it away.  Flocks of crows or jays will often gang up on a lone hawk or owl to drive the larger, predatory birds out of the area.  Maybe this video captures unknown bat behavior for the first time.  What do you think?

Myotis nigricans, Isla Gorgona, Cauca

Get Involved! Protect wildlife with David and the National Wildlife Federation.


David Mizejewski is a naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation. His goal is to inspire others to appreciate the wonders of nature. Meet David >
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