A very interesting posting. On the subject of bats in nests, Martin
Schulz had a paper published a while back on the use of suspended scrub-wren
nests by the Golden-Tipped Bat Kerivoula papuensis - the reference
is Mammalia 59:280-283.
I too have been in the habit of inserting a finger into such nests
to check on contents, but have been warned off by friends in the know.
Apparently, the tree funnel-web spider also finds these places nice to
live in. If your mum found crickets repulsive, imagine what she would have
thought of a large, venomous spider hanging off her finger!
This might not be exactly what you want but perhaps
mentioning. Small bats sometimes roost in old nests of Yellow-throated
If you look in the Reader's Digest bird book you'll find as other names
the Scrub-wren, "blacknest-bird" and "devil-bird".
Both names were, I believe, bestowed by my mother (Hilda Geissmann in
Qld Museum book on lady collectors/naturalissts). Her family
Tamborine Mountain (70km s. of Brisbane) in 1898 when she was an 8
child. The mountain was then a largely untouched superbly rich
(biologically) area. She loved birds and learnt from nature -
guides then. She had to give the birds names of her own devising.
Blacknest-bird is an obvious one because the nests are (were) common,
conspicuous and durable ... and black, being constructed (at least
Tamborine) entirely of the hyphae of the horse-hair fungus (Marasmius
Why devil-bird? Almost certainly because of the occasions when
as a child
she checked a nest and a bat flew out (like a bat out of hell?).
possibility was because another occasional inhabitant was a very large
cricket. Mother told me that a bat didn't worry her but to gently
finger to check for eggs or babes and encounter one of these crickets
her feelings of the utmost revulsion and horror.
If the bat association is of use to you, bats involved are Chalinobus
and species of Eptesicus, but you should contact a bat expert (which
not) for confirmation. I got my information on their identity
from Les Hall
(Dept of Anatomy?) University of Qld.
>From: "Jim Davis" <>
>To: "Birding -Aus" <>
>Subject: [BIRDING-AUS] Request for information
>Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2000 4:42 AM
> Birding - Aus members:
> I would once again like to tap the experience of Birding-Aus subscribers.
> Currently, I am writing an article on nesting associations between
> species of birds and between birds and other animals.
I am aware of the
> following associations:
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