Fast Flyers, or the Fastest Flyers??

Baturday News is a weekly blog written by Rachael, a high school student, bat advocate, and Save Lucy volunteer. Rachael’s interest in bats was sparked by the big brown bats that used the outside of her former home for a winter roost. Rachael has been writing the Baturday News for over three years.

I would like to dedicate this week’s blog to all of our military veterans out there and to all the people who are serving now. Thank you for all you do. And I hope you had a nice Veterans’ Day!


Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week! As you know, we elected a new president on Tuesday. I hope he likes bats! I did something really fun on Thursday. I went to the Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions. It was a lot of fun to see all the gymnasts. It was also fun to see some of the athletes that we don’t get to see on TV. Not only were the regular gymnasts there, but the rhythmic and acrobatic gymnasts were too and the trampoline team was there. They were all amazing!

A photograph of Freda the freetail peeking out from behind a patterned drape.
Freda says, MY family is the fastest!


And now, on to the bat news…apparently, bats can fly really, really fast. They can fly faster than scientists realized. I always knew that bats were amazing flyers, but apparently knowing something in your heart and scientifically proving it are two completely different things. So, scientists set up an experiment to find out exactly how fast bats could fly.

The scientists went to the Frio Bat Cave in south-western Texas and used an airplane tracking device to track the distance that seven Brazilian free-tailed bats flew. All seven of the bats reached speeds of almost 100 km/h (62 mph). One bat even flew as fast as 160 km/h (99 mph)! This is faster than the fastest bird, the common swift, who can fly 112 km/h (70 mph). So this little bat now has the honor of flying at the fastest powered flight speed of any vertebrate ever documented! Congratulations to that little bat!

Some scientists think that the study might contain some errors. They think that the bats might have been using the wind to their advantage. The scientists who did the study don’t think so. They said there wasn’t any wind that night. Either way, I think the Brazilian free-tailed bats proved that they were completely amazing animals. And little Freda is particularly excited because she is a Brazilian free-tailed bat. Isn’t she wonderful? If you want to read the article, you can find it here.

I hope you all have a good week!

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