lizbrownlee – poet

Poems, animal info, extraordinary women, my books!

U is for Upland Horseshoe Bat

All horseshoe bats have strange horseshoe-shaped nose leaves – unlike other bats, their ultrasound call comes through their nose and not their mouth, and it is thought that the shape of their nose helps to direct the ultrasound frequencies more accurately.

The upland horseshoe bat lives in West and Central Africa, in caves in both lowland tropical and montane moist forests.

Not much is known about this bat, except that has two extra false nipples that the young cling to when the mother bat is flying. (Eeeek!) Like all horseshoe bats, but unlike most other types of bat, they can land on the ground and take off again.

They are classified by the IUCN Red List for Threatened Species as Near Threatened, as their habitat is being affected by deforestation for logging and mining, and it is suspected that too many are being killed to be eaten.

Here is a bat poem I wrote some time ago for young children – it appears in the RSPB Anthology of Wildlife Poetry, selected by the excellent Celia Waren,  A & C Black, 2011.



Why do people
get tightup,
because we here
hang downside up?

Are  scared they of
our batwings black?
Or ‘cos our knees
are front to back?

We’re bottom up,
but please don’t fuss –
for you’re the way
round wrong to us!

Information about horseshoe bats here at the BBC: BBC Web.

Information about Uplands horseshoe bats here: Arkive.

Information about the IUCN Red List for Threatened Species here: IUCN Red List.

Post, illustration and poem © Liz Brownlee, all copyright material, please do not repost elsewhere, you may link to it.


  1. Aloha Liz,
    New follower over at the Secret lives of Poets, but I also wanted to send you a sincere *thanks* for your words.

    I hope there is more 🙂 than 😦 these days.


    • Oh, yes! I’m lucky. And a natural ‘the glass is half full’ sort of person.

      Hope you enjoy ‘Secret Lives’! I am meeting all the poets there and more at a retreat next week and we are thinking of revamping it a bit.


      • That’s great to hear! A success story 🙂
        Good luck with all the possible changes 🙂


  2. I never knew bats couldn’t land on the floor and take back off. I agree, eeek with the nipples.


  3. Cute poem. I’ll bet the kids love it. I’m a big kid, and I love it!
    Play off the Page


    • Thank you Mary! I like the name of your blog… this poem is up at Bristol Zoo, UK on the bat house…


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