We are gradually getting used to the new routine of taking care of the bats in the flight cage. There are now 9 bats living there, and we have another 4 waiting to pass their flight tests! Leigh (pictured above feeding the bats) and I flew Martie and P-Diddy last night, and they both flew well enough to move into the cage – joining Bella, Belfry, Winnie, Papoo, Jay, Ellie and Wendy in their new home. As each bat moves in, we clip the fur on the side of their back so that they are clearly identifiable as ‘resident’ bats (so we don’t get ‘outpatients’ mixed up with residents).
Daily tasks include doing a head-count to make sure all bats are accounted for, providing fresh food (over 130 mealworms a day at the moment!) and water, clearing out droppings from the boxes, taking care of the mealworm colonies. At weekends we weigh the bats to make sure they are eating. If they aren’t, they are taken back into care and/or fed separately until they are back up to weight (this happened with Kevin, who has now moved back home with me until he is doing better!).
We still have lots more to do at the flight cage, including installing water troughs to encourage mosquitoes to breed inside the cage, installing the new infra-red WiFi camera (so we can watch the bats flying at night – this will be launched very soon so watch this space!), and the work in the garden making it moth (and bat!) friendly. We also are working on the ‘procedures manual’ and the training of the volunteers who are helping with the upkeep of the cage, so expect more updates soon!