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  • Writer's pictureCrone

Moonlit listening

On this night, I was rewarded by bats. Common pipistrelles. The clicks were so clear but I couldn't see them.

I had been thinking about and researching killer whales during the day, and how the deafening sound of the sea with all the shipping and fishing makes it hard for the whales to communicate and hunt.

They are rare among animals in that they share food. But some bats do too.

It's not known if orcas have individual names - some dolphins, sperm whales and maybe all species of parrots do have names for each other. So, too, do some species of bats.

Orcas, sperm whales and parrots have distinctive dialects in different population groups. So do bats.

Baby whales have to learn acoustic communication and start off by "babbling". So do baby bats. Mother bats speak to their babies in what's been described as "motherese", that simplified way that mothers speak to human babies. I don't know if whales do that.

Bats pack a lot of social and intellectual punch into their tiny little brains. A pipistrelle could sit on my thumb.

If anything, their speed of processing may be faster than a swift's as they have to control the clicks and receive the echoes - which are released in tiny fractions of a second, distinguish the sound they made from the echo and navigate accordingly.

It had been a good day as earlier Son of Bob had eaten food from my hand. I think we were both astonished by his audacity.

Not a great photo of Son of Bob. Mind you, Bob's looking the worse for wear at the moment. He's lost a patch of feathers on his neck. Leanne says child care takes it out of you.

Squizzel has no excuse.

The next night - when the moon was fully full - I heard the bats again.

That white speck is a moth.

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Jun 18, 2023

What a great post! Fascinating! Much to think about. Son of Bob eh. He must have been watching his dad & you. Squirrel has a confident stance. Glad you mentioned the moth ... was wondering. Great moon shots. Click Click Click

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