Small bat hunting is well known for the Aust Hobby. I don’t know that it is known for the Peregrine Falcon. I wonder whether the
accompanying high pitched squealing
was made by the bat. I can’t recall bats squealing when being handled but it is a long time since I did, and so I wonder would they call loud enough to be heard or was the sound from the Hobby?
From: Graeme Clifton [
Sent: Wednesday, 10 May, 2017 4:03 PM
To: COG List
Subject: [canberrabirds] Micro Bats and Predators
These events unfolded over the last three evenings above and near a farm dam on our property at Wanna Wanna Rd, Carwoola.
Micro bats are seen every night, for as long as I can remember, feeding above this dam. They start to come out as the sun sets and it is usual to see 6 bats or more.
Sunday evening I saw a falcon ( pointy wingtips) flying over the dam carrying something in its talons and there was an accompanying high pitched squealing from the prey. Initial thoughts were a mouse but then I realised it was likely a
bat. The Falcon flew to an exposed dead branch. A few minutes later I saw a concerted attack on the bats. The Falcon missed in three passes but got a kill on the next pass.
Monday evening was overcast and there was no opportunity to silhouette the Falcon against the sky. It made two passes that I saw and then it wasn't seen again.
Peregrine or Hobby? I couldn't decide.
Tuesday evening Martin Butterfield came around and between about 5.05 and 5.30 we witnessed 4 kills. Two kills were only a few minutes apart. Clear skies again and excellent views of the action. One kill was directly overhead at probably
less than 10 m above us.
The bats tended to disappear for a short while after a kill, surprise, surprise. The mode of attack was from behind and slightly below.
There could have been two predators as there appeared a size difference, but we didn't see two at once so that is speculation.
Martin has come to the conclusion that it was probably a pair of Hobbys.
There were two bats still cruising the dam after the action ceased last night so I am assuming the Hobby/Hobbys will be back this evening.