Bats eat birds in Australia

To: <>
Subject: Bats eat birds in Australia
From: "Chris Corben" <>
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2007 19:53:47 -0600
If I remember correctly, Martin Schulz recorded a Dollarbird in the diet of Ghost Bat.

Please note, though, that what makes the Greater Noctule story so interesting is that the bats are apparently catching the birds on the wing.

If you want a bit more detail, see a press release at:

A couple of points to make about this press release:

1) I suspect it highly exaggerates the danger to birds! Greater Noctules are quite rare and have a restricted total range. They are not likely to be in any way significant as a bird predator, even though the birds might well be significant to them as prey.

2) It claims that owls only take prey from substrates. This is not true. I have personally seen owls pursuing bats on a couple of occasions, one being a Barking Owl chasing a Vespadelus pumilus near the Conondale Ranges north of Brisbane. Owls are well known to take bats in a variety of situations, and there are cases of owl pellets full of bat skulls. It's hard to see how the owls are catching bats except in flight. But it is puzzling - in the case Tom cites, we saw a Boobook with a Miniopterus in its talons. Miniopterus fly like maniacs and are not what you would have thought of as an easy catch for a Boobook. But then I once saw a Brown Falcon bring down a White-faced Heron, so life is full of surprises!

Cheers, Chris.

Chris Corben


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