Nectar is a large part of the diet of Australia’s 3 largest flying foxes, while the Little Red flying-fox feeds almost exclusively on it. We are not always able to find blossom and of course it doesn’t always contain good amount of nectar. Plants of the Myrtacae family are their favourite especially eucalypt and melaleuca.
Flying-fox tongues have been designed to get nectar from blossom. We mimic this in captivity by giving them foods to lick – ripe bananas in suet feeders we import from USA or UK, and banana smoothie that has high protein powders.
We use Wombaroo High Protein powder with full cream milk powders in the banana smoothie. Sometimes we add yoghurt, honey, Ensure or other fruits. Most bat carers chop fruit and add the high protein powder on top, but we prefer to hang the fruit on wires and put the protein into a smoothie. We are very lucky to get large quantities of free bananas.
We make concentrate banana smoothie that then goes into the freezer. This is made with high protein powders and bananas only, adding water and Ensure when in use.
Myrtacae family blossom, paperbark (Melaleuca leucadendron)