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Jamaican Fruit Bat Flying Through a Tunnel in Tikal, Guatemala

Jamaican (aka Mexican) Fruit Bat, (Artibeus jamaicensis) flying in a tunnel under a Maya ruin in Tikal National Park, Guatemala.

It was pitch black in here and I had only a head lamp to light my way. There were a few bats hanging from the ceiling and they became agitated as I walked past. They began to fly back and forth along the length of the tunnel, making U-turns in front of my face. Since I had no hope of focusing in the dark, I pre-set my focus distance to about two feet and held my camera up in front of me. When a bat flew toward me I pushed the button, my flash momentarily illuminating the eerie scene like lightning.

After getting a few shots I realized that the situation was probably a lot scarier for these little guys than for me. So I got the heck out of the tunnel and let them return to their nap.

Looking for a great gadget to identify bats? Check out our article about the Echo Meter Touch 2 bat detector

Hal Brindley at the Antarctic Circle

Hal Brindley

Brindley is an American conservation biologist, wildlife photographer, filmmaker, writer, and illustrator living in Asheville, NC. He studied black-footed cats in Namibia for his master’s research, has traveled to all seven continents, and loves native plant gardening. See more of his work at Travel for Wildlife, Truly Wild, Our Wild Yard, & Naturalist Studio.