Flying foxes in Machattie Park | Video, photos, pictures

AS chatter about Bathurst's increasing flying fox population continues, Parade has discovered a few interesting facts about these native animals.

When researching a recent story, she discovered that flying foxes are a species of bat, and there are two types currently roosting in Machattie Park’s trees – grey headed flying foxes and little red flying foxes.

The grey headed flying fox is one of the largest bats in the world, and can weigh up to 1000 grams (one kilo) and measure up to 289 millimetres long.

While the little reds, with a weight of 300-600 grams, are the smallest Australian flying fox.

A WIRES bat co-ordinator also told Parade that the young are called pups, and there are currently a few in the care of Bathurst WIRES volunteers.

These pups were found clinging to the body of their mother after she has been electrocuted on electricity wires.

The WIRES co-ordinator said pups can survive for up to a week after their mother has died. If you see a bat on the electricity wires, call WIRES on 1300 094 737.

Machattie Park’s so full of life

SPEAKING of Machattie Park, Parade spotted a new brood of seven ducklings and their mother paddling in Lake Spencer on Sunday.

For those planning on taking a look, and as tempting as it might be, please don’t feed them bread.

While ducks might eat the bread, it’s actually bad for them and can cause obesity and a crippling condition called angel wing, which causes wings to jut out rather than fold back, making flight impossible.

The Office of Environment and Heritage’s website states that feeding native animals is the “wildlife equivalent of junk food”.

“Instead of eating a wide range of natural foods, they depend on processed seeds, bread and other foods that are not part of their natural diet,” it states. “Hand-fed birds are susceptible to illnesses that can be transferred to other birds.

“Young birds lose the ability to forage for food and when not fed by humans may starve.”