Flocks of flying foxes 

If you’re lucky to be enjoying the beauty of the harbour city at dusk, be sure to look up, you might spot a darkening of the sky as a swarm of bats pass by in a spectacular ‘fly-out’.
17. [Flying fox or fruit bat, 1860]; drawn on verso

Image: Flying Fox or fruit bat, 1860, John Arthur Guy (Source: Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales) 

‘…to my surprise, a number of these animals were observed suspended from the branches of the lofty trees in the Sydney Botanic Garden, hanging by their hind claws…’   

Naturalist George Bennett, 1858  

Grey-headed flying foxes (pteropus poliocephalus) haven’t always been a feature of the Sydney harbour skyline, they possibly made their way here in pursuit of the fig trees planted throughout city parks in the 19th century.

‘The summer fruit everywhere was promising well, when regular swarms of flying foxes commenced paying the orchards their ‘nightly visits’ and could not be kept out of them.’ 

The Sydney Mail, 3.12.1892  

These bats are a vital pollinator and a vulnerable species, and protected colonies live very close to the city centre, in Centennial Park and Parramatta Park.

Curio Projects is committed to working with our clients and the wider heritage community to conserve and promote natural heritage values. We have proudly worked with the City of Sydney to manage the heritage values of several inner-city parks and green spaces, and we encourage all visitors to Sydney to explore and discover the unique flora and fauna of the city.