Back to the Bat Cave

After taking Patrick from Uncommon Caribbean to the bat cave, I actually returned a few days later with Joe from the St. Maarten Zoo. The zoo actually has a bat house featuring one of the local species that is in the cave, so Joe wanted to see them in the wild.

After a little trouble, we were able to sort out permission to visit the cave. The security guard who wanted to make sure we weren’t camping in the cave apparently has neither seen nor smelt said cave. In addition to observing the bats, I spent a little more time trying to find invertebrates in the cave. Spiders, cockroaches, crickets and whip spiders were abundant. I can’t tell for sure, but I believe there are also many small parasites on the roof of the cave where the bats roost. They appear as small dots in a couple photos below that show bats on the white cave ceiling.

We waited until nightfall to see if the bats would all swarm out of the cave at once. They did not. Starting around dusk, they would fly out singly or in small groups. If there is a mass exodus, it must happen in complete darkness.

For more info on St. Martin and Caribbean bats, check out The Incomplete Guide and BatHead.

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