Ahh, the joys of country life…

Fresh mountain air
Starry nights
Old barns
and… bats?

My H was telling me of his progress with Gracie tonight in the barn. As a passing comment, he mentioned that there may have been a bat in the attic with them. It sounds like a simple, straight forward statement, but why did it seem like there should be more to it? How could it be that uncomplicated? Where’s the bat drama? Do I have to tell it like I see it? Ok.

Big Eared Bat

Big Eared Bat (public domain image)

Imagine a pitch black, Blair Witch-type foggy night with the creepy sound of coyotes yipping in the distance. You and your hawk are alone in the attic of an old barn. Training is the main purpose for your evening activities, but all of a sudden, you hear a whirling sound around your head and it’s getting closer and closer with each pass. WTF? Although the hawk on your glove is a force to be reckoned with, I still think I’d still be a little trepeditious (yes, it is a word, see The Grammarphobia Blog) about your collective efforts to slay the winged rat (sorry bat lovers). One: even though you and your Red-tail have basically been hand-in-claw for the last two weeks, it’s not like she’s your BFF. Two: an exit strategy seems like a better use of the potentially short time you have left.

What’s wrong with an innocent little bat just trying to make a decent living? Well, rabies, histoplasmosis, mites, ticks, fleas, sharp little teeth and guano, to name seven. However, as I write this, I feel that I’m being a little unfair to the flying mammal classified in the order of Chiroptera. Shouldn’t they have qualities worthy of redemption just like everyone else? Is it really their fault that Bram Stoker sold them out and capitalized on their unfortunate creep-factor?

Obviously, not being an expert, I can’t answer those questions. However, I’ll leave my dear readers with a few batcrumbs and you can form your own opinions:

And, lastly

  • Bat Word origin & history (which will be of particular interest to falconers): “to move the eyelids,” 1847, Amer.Eng., from earlier sense of “flutter as a hawk” (1610s), a variant of bate (2) on the notion of fluttering wings. Dictionary.com
  • Chiroptophobia is the fear of bats
  • Colleen

    Great story! Tell H to hang in there… Get it?

  • Elle

    I'd get the H_ _ _ out of there! I had a run- in with a bat when I was 9 and I'm still terrified of even the rubber ones on Halloween.
    I don't think your H has" bats in his belfry" though. I think anyone that has the courage to have a wild ( is there any other kind?) hawk on his arm ( not to mention the mice in his freezer) is not terribly concerned about a bat.
    Thanks for the well rounded bat information. I actually couldn't tell if you were pro or con.

    • The Falconer's

      Me too!! He was rather unimpressed with the bat possibility (although my imagination ran a little wild as you could no doubt tell). Later that evening my H said it could also have been an owl. Apparently they attack hawks, and he wanted to protect her from any danger. Hoo would of thought a cute little owl would be such a bad a–, and a creepy bat so harmless (well, besides the mite, flea & bloodsucking issues!).

  • cousin's wife

    I would definitely opt for H (yours or mine) moving self and hawk out of danger. Had a good chuckle at the '7 interesting Batman facts' link, where a reader challenged that Batman actually mastered 127 different forms of fighting, not 125 as the author claimed. Perhaps no justice was offered directly to bats, but Batman can be sure there are those out there keeping track and ready to defend his honor!

  • The Falconer (the &q

    The bat whirling closer and closer around my head definitely put a dent in our training session. She wasn't on the creance or the leash, which could have been a tricky situation as she could have gotten loose…like my wife on our first date… just kidding!

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