Stacey Cole's Nature Talks: The tale of The Big Bad Bat
"Subject: Big Bad Bat! Dad and I were asleep last night when, at 12:30 a.m., the house alarm went off very loud. I woke up and after a few tries I was able to wake up Dad, who was blissfully sleeping through all the alarm noise! We shut off the alarm and rushed out of the bedroom to see who had broken into our house.
In a moment of exasperation, some folks have been known to address a fellow traveler on this Earth thusly: "You drive me batty!" Although I don't know the genesis of this phrase, I suspect it may have something to do with trying to eject a bat from a bedroom in the dark of night.
I must confess, I read this account with a chuckle and, of course, sincere sympathy.
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Bats (Chiroptera) are really mammals and not birds, as some might consider them to be. Bats are the only mammal that can fly with powered flight. It is a very rapid flight with nimble maneuverability and renders them the very fascinating creatures they really are. Other mammals, such as flying squirrels, may appear to fly, but none can produce a "lift." They simply "glide." For more information on these remarkable mammals, the Bat Convention International may be contacted by computer at www.batcon.org.
For readers of our Aug. 30 column re. red-bellied woodpecker: I made a careless error that I sincerely regret. The red color described on the head and neck of the male and female should have been reversed. The remainder of that column I believe to be correct. I have discussed this error by phone with the inquiring reader who had written about an unidentified woodpecker that ate oranges, but not suet.
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