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Monsoon 2021 brings bat invasion for southern Arizona

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 6:55 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Did your hummingbird feeder mysteriously empty overnight?

Well, hummingbirds may not be the only thing visiting your backyard for a little snack. A certain species is migrating it’s way down to Mexico and stopped here in Southern Arizona.

Monsoon 2021 bringing in another invasion. This time, it’s bats.

“It will be brief. Every year we have migratory species of bat that come up to southern Arizona that feed on nectar. Most of the 28 bat species in Arizona are insect eaters,” Arizona Game and Fish’s Mark Hart said.

The two species of bats finding their temporary home here in southern Arizona are the lesser long-nosed bat and Mexican long-tongued bat. They’re attracted to the blooming flowers from monsoon, but that’s not all. These little guys can drain a hummingbird feeder overnight. Game and Fish says, when it comes to these bats, you have two options.

“Take your hummingbird feeder down if you’re tired of refilling it all of the time and wait until they leave, which could be any day now. Or leave them up and figure that you’re helping out that species,” Hart says.

According to Game and Fish, these bats are an example of the great biological diversity of southern Arizona, but people often have a negative view of the species.

“The bats we’re seeing right now are not harmful to people, and unfortunately they have a spooky reputation which we try to correct because they’re an important part of our ecosystem,” Hart said.

These bats won’t be around too much longer before they head to Mexico, but Game and Fish says to enjoy seeing them while they are here.

Game and Fish says if you have an outdoor fan, make sure you turn it off at night. The blades from the fan could potentially injure or kill these little visitors. Game and Fish has already seen a number of fatalities this year.

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