The Echo
Celebrate the Mom bats!

The Echo

Celebrate the Mom bats!

Published on May 8, 2016


 

A mother Gambian epauletted fruit bat and her baby roost in a tree
A mother Gambian epauletted fruit bat and her baby roost in a tree
Credit: MerlintTuttle.org

Flowers, chocolate, or even just finally getting those chores we promised done, there are lots of ways to show Mom you care. Our Mom’s are really something special and Mother’s Day is a great opportunity to tell them so. Even bats get in on the act as some of the best high flying moms go above and beyond for their kids.

 

A Quick Catch for Mom

When baby bats, called pups, are born they come into the world with their mothers ready to take care of them. Hanging from her perch bat moms give birth upside down! There for her baby right away mother bats act fast, catching the blind baby in her wings.

 

Big Bouncing Babies

The pups are born weighing up to one third of their mother’s weight. Imagine giving birth to a baby that big. For a human mom that would be like having a baby that weighed 40 pounds! Lucky for them most bats only have one pup at a time.
But that’s only the beginning. Just like us bats are mammals so mother bats have to be ready to feed their pups plenty of milk. Going out to find food for themselves, mother bats come back to their roosts to take care of and nurse their babies.

 

A female hoary bat is perched with her twin young.
A female hoary bat is perched with her twin young.
Credit: MerlinTuttle.org

 

Congratulations it’s Twins!

Even though most bats only have one pup some bats like to have big families. Species like the hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus) will usually give birth to two pups at a time. With two pups to take care of this makes the hoary bat a special mom as she has to find twice as much food to keep her pups well fed.

 

Super strong moms!

Mother bats often fly with their pups. The young cling to their mother's underarm nipple with their mouths and hang onto her waist with their toes. Carrying a pup often more than a third of your weight via your nipples is no small feat - that is a super strong mom! 

 

Mexican free-tailed bats roost in the nursery colony at Bracken Cave
A mother and newborn Mexican free-tailed pups roost in the
nursery colony at Bracken Cave, near San Antonio, TX.
Credit: MerlinTuttle.org

 

It Takes a Village

In the heart of the United States the largest gathering of bats in the world is getting together. The roost in Bracken Cave isn’t just any bat cave. It’s a maternity ward! Migrating hundreds of miles the Mexican free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) make their way from Mexico to Texas to roost. Over 15 million mother bats come together to raise their pups in the safety of Bracken cave, coming out to hunt for food at night.

She’s cleaned and cared for her baby, fed them and taught them to fly. Mother bats are amazing. Just like ours.

Help protect these amazing mothers. Celebrate Mother's Day by adopting a bat for you own mother and give the gift of bat conservation!

 

 

 

Stay up to date with BCI

Sign up and receive timely bat updates

BCI relies on the support of our amazing members around the world.

Our mission is to conserve the world’s bats and their ecosystems to ensure a healthy planet.

Please join us or donate so our work can continue.