This week's Photohunt theme is hanging. Any guesses at what is hanging in the picture above? They are Flying Foxes, the largest fruit bat in Australia. These were hanging in a group of trees at the Sydney Botanical Garden. This group of over 2200 bats has 'camped' in the choice trees in the garden.
This protected species of fruit bat, the Grey-headed Flying-Fox, has the largest body of the of all bats During the day, they sleep hanging upside down. In the evening and night, they fly around feasting on nectar and fruit. They do create quite a mess, both in destroying the trees and their guano and urine below the trees where they 'hang out' during the day. The officials would like to get them to move but have been unable to come up with a way that is successful and will not hurt the animals.
We found them fascinating. There were little tussles going on for space while they were sleeping. Occasionally one would stretch their wings or take off and fly. We watched them for as long as we could stand the stench.
Here is a good article on the Flying Foxes of the Sydney Botanical Garden.
A group hanging around sleeping - noticed how they have destroyed the tree