birding-aus Defensive crowling from cavities, bats?

To: "Birding-Aus" <>
Subject: birding-aus Defensive crowling from cavities, bats?
From: "Philip A Veerman" <>
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 17:44:23 +1100

I thought I'd add another thought along the lines of possible critters that
might growl defensively from tree cavities. I'm in no position to suggest
this is a more likely suspect than the nominations already received. In
1979, when I was working on a study of the (house) mice on the Darling Downs
(near Dalby SE Qld), I caught a Yellow-bellied Sheathtail-Bat (Taphozous
flaviventris) on the ground (likely it crashed into one of the Elliot trap
marker poles and fell to the ground where I found it in the morning). This
very attractive beast made a dreadful noise, groaning, snarling, chattering
sound, when I picked it up. The noise is hard to describe, and it was 20
years ago. It was probably all bluff but I didn't put my fingers in front of
its open well armed (teethed) mouth. They apparently roost in tree hollows.
I don't know how regular that is, it is the only one of this bat species I
have ever seen. Small bats normally make high pitch cheep noises (and of
course fruit bats chatter) but this noise was quite different. The animal's
posing and context of this verbal outburst directed at me holding it,
certainly implied the noise was intended as a threat display. Does anyone
have any ideas?

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