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Roadrunner a Predator of Bats

Clyde F. Herreid Ii
1 (January-February)
From Field and Study
Online Text

Roadrunner a Predator of Bats.-On two occasions in the summer of 1959, the author observed a Roadrunner (Geococcyz. californianus) killing and eating Mexican free-tailed bats at Davis Cave, Blanc0 County, Texas. On June 15 a bird picked up two bats from a group of baby bats that had been placed on the ground about fifteen meters from the cave entrance. These animals had been removed from the cave floor where they had fallen. After the second bat was consumed, the bird was accidently frightened away. On July 28, a Roadrunner was surprised at 6:00 a.m. about five meters from the cave entrance with a bat held in its beak.It was not necessary for the Roadrunner to have entered the cave to have obtained the bat. On many occasions, particularly when the young bats are beginning to fly in July and August, they crawl and hang to rocks outside the entrance to the cave. Many of these animals after falling near the mouth of the cave or colliding with a wall, ceiling, or another bat at flight time, are able to take off again, but some remain for some time outside the cave and are thus easy victims for various predators.- CLYDE F. HERREID II, Labdratory of Comparative Behavior, School of Hygiene and Public Health, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, August 25, 1959.

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