March 15, 2014

A Movable Feast

Photograph by Merlin Tuttle, National Geographic

A pollen-gilded bat (Phyllonycteris poeyi) emerging from a flower of the blue mahoe tree (Talipariti elatum) demonstrates the carrying capacity of fur. This bat lives in eastern Cuba in a colony more than one million strong—a pollinating powerhouse.

For this shot, which appeared in a March 2014 National Geographic story on nectar-seeking bats, the feeder seen here was mist-netted as it approached the flower and released into photographer Merlin Tuttle’s portable studio. A set of blue mahoe branches and a flower indistinguishable from those where the bat was netted were placed in the studio. “After setting up a camera and flashes, we simply waited for the bat to come to the flower,” Tuttle says.

See more pictures from the March 2014 feature story “Call of the Bloom.”

83 comments
Amanda Burns
Amanda Burns

Fabulous picture. Can I download it I wonder?

Roy Holm
Roy Holm

" I Think I'm Going to Sneeze"

Naresh M
Naresh M

Awesome Shot after ur patience... 


Rochelle Wolf
Rochelle Wolf

Awesome shot.

Beautiful and yet a little creepy ,

Capture in one shot. :)

Nice !

Lucky Kid
Lucky Kid

Most amazing photo, focus, light and colour!!!  Blows me away, one of the best I've seen in a long time!!

Kooky Yakker
Kooky Yakker

These are so beautiful..they all take my breath away!

claudia arrua
claudia arrua

Your picture is beyond words!! Absolutely amazing. Thank you!

Brook Gowin
Brook Gowin

This is a beautiful pic but I am disappointed that you captured the bat and then staged the scene, thereby interfering with nature.

Pamela Tucker
Pamela Tucker

I think he got burned in the birds and bees story... :P

Vijaya Naik
Vijaya Naik

never ever thought that bats could be so beautifully picd

les miller
les miller

perfect timing,catching nature unaware!!!!!!!

JoAnn Girard
JoAnn Girard

What an incredible photo.  I love bats (with noses) :)

Barbara Stec
Barbara Stec

Wow!!!!!  Awesome snapshot !!!! an excellent capture in perfect moment. My congrats !!!!! Love it a LOT !!!!!!

Henrik Dahlqvist
Henrik Dahlqvist

How can anything be more important than nature? :) Well captured!

Jude Wills
Jude Wills

set-up or not, it's a gorgeous image. many thanks for sharing it with us. 

Lola Rosique
Lola Rosique


Big attraction for the bees!!!  Beautiful pic. 

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