With the help of many volunteers, the Batting For Bayside project has been collecting records of microbats in Bayside using Anabat detectors. These detectors can detect and record the high-pitched call made by these tiny little bats as they fly around at night. Microbats may be almost impossible to see, but with the help of this technology we can hear their presence.
An added benefit of the Anabat detectors is that we can download the calls to a computer. Using special software, we then try to identify the bat species.
They frequent the night, hidden by darkness. They are noisy, yet we never hear them. They gobble up those we dislike.
They are the microbats.
These little bats may look like small versions of the more familiar megabats, or flying foxes, but they are very different.
The megabats get their name in part due to their size. For example, the common species seen in Melbourne, the grey-headed flying fox, has a body length around 25cm, a wingspan about 1m, and weighs up to 1kg.