Australian Animals
and Birds

Some True Facts
about the

Northern Blossom-Bat



These little bats have a body about 7 cm (3 inches) long. They mainly live close to the north coast of Australia, and as their name suggests, they feed on the flowers of trees.

Unlike some bats, which roost in large numbers, these mainly live on their own. They can easily hide from attackers this way, and are so small that they can even squeeze under flaking tree bark and into rolled up leaves so that they cannot be seen. They also hang under branches and in roofs, but always with their wings wrapped round them and always with their head and eyes pointing at right angles to their body (instead of downwards, like other bats).

Just one would not make a very filling meal, so living alone also means that predators do not waste their energy trying to find and catch them.

They use their large eyes to find their food - not echo-location. When they reach a suitable flower, they land on it, then use their long tongue to collect the nectar and pollen. In the process the flowers may be pollinated. In this way they are useful to farmers who grow bananas, but they also go to mangrove and coconut trees, bottlebrush trees, paperbarks, lillipillies and eucalypts. They feed mostly around dusk, but are active at night and in the daytime too.