These birds are the tallest and most strikingly colored of their species in Africa. Their broad wings allow it to soar above the plains. It is spectacularly plumaged, identical in male and female. The head, neck, back, wings, and tail are iridescent black, with the rest of the body and the primary flight feathers being white.
These bats are carnivorous, feeding on birds, rodent and even other bats. With regards to avian prey, this species prefers to hunt birds that weigh between 20 and 150 grams, sleep in foliage rather than in holes or burrows, and either roost communally or have a strong body odor. In one bat roost, the remains of 84 birds from 18 species were found.
It eats mainly fish, but on occasion water voles and ducklings have also been known to fall prey to these guys. Some of these young fish have been found dead from choking on a similar size of one of their own species. They also feed on frogs, insects and leeches. They are not very particular and eat spiny fish like perch and will even take sticklebacks if that is the only available prey.
The nymphs emerge on a Spring evening when the soil temperature at about 8 inches depth is above 63 °F. In most years, this works out to late April or early May in far southern states, and late May to early June in the far northern states. Emerging nymphs climb to a suitable place on the nearby vegetation to complete their transformation into an adults.
Experts regard these birds as one of the most intelligent birds. They feed primarily on palm nuts, seeds, fruits, leafy matter, but have been observed eating snails. Their overall gentle nature and their inclination and ability to mimic speech have made them popular pets. This has led many to be captured from the wild and sold into the pet trade.
This primarily nocturnal species tends to spend most of its life in or around water. Because of their large size, they appear rather slow and sluggish when traveling on land. Completely the opposite in water, however, these guys are known to have the potential to reach high speeds in all depths of water.
The species’ success in the wild is in part due to its opportunistic hunting behavior, its adaptability to habitats, its ability to run at speeds approaching 36 mph, its unequaled ability to climb trees even when carrying a heavy carcass, and its notorious ability for stealth.
These monkeys live in a fission-fusion society, with groups coming together at sleeping sites at the end of the day. There exist bands which are formed with the fission and fusion of groups. Groups all meet during the day and travel together, but individuals do not groom or play with those from other groups.