CAPTIVE BIG BROWN BORN BABIES
Sometimes, before spring comes when the wintering bats cannot be released, our pregnant females start popping tiny, fur less twins. So one tent, then, automatically becomes an in-house nursery colony. The moms are amazing, nursing their infants in tight, warm, protective piles of adults and babies, automatically progressing to feeding their young a mix of overly-masticated, almost liquefied mealworms. Then, after offering only roughly chewed pieces to their new, furry, exploratory, growing babies, the mothers finally teach their 4-week, almost adult offspring to eat whole worms. We have watched this fascinating adaptive progression in awe. We only need to provide the worms; the teaching and feeding process is completed by the mother bats. When the babies are about 5 weeks old, they and their moms are taken to the flight pen. Here the mothers call and encourage their nervous balking babies to fly to them in ever increasing distances. Soon the pen is full of circling and zooming bats. After awhile, the moms and babies rest in a huddle of happy, purring contentment. After the mothers have completed this extraordinary aerial training program, we are then able to release the entire captive nursery colony in a bat house near our barn's wild nursery.