The bats in the flight cage are gearing up for soft release next week! Paul, Wriggle & Purple have been in soft-release box number 4 (Paul doesn’t really get on with soprano pip Finn, so Finn has been on his own in box 2). Much to my surprise today, I checked on the boxes to find Paul inside Finn’s box, and Finn cuddled up with Paul’s ladies in box 4! As precocious as this is, it does mean that both of the boys are now showing return to roost behaviour and are ready for release.
So I popped Paul (who by the way is looking magnificent – fluffy and heavy and ready for spring!) into the soft release box, and put fresh water and food in for them. (When we first started using the flight cage, we had to find food dishes that were perfect for our needs – the right size – I had to be able to fit two of them inside the box – and shape – they had to be shallow and heavy enough that the bats wouldn’t be able to tip them over. We actually opted for furniture casters from B&Q in the end!).
Bats fed, watered and tucked in for the evening (rain will probably mean a night in for them!) I then turned my attention to settling in our new mealworms. (The squeamish of you should look away now!) If you’ve ever wondered what half a kilo of beetle larvae look like, here you go! They will keep our bats going for the next few months while our existing colonies breed and recover in numbers. If you fancy having a go at breeding mealworms for our bats, you can email me for details on how! – Morgan