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Albino bat photo

16/01/2012 23:36:34

Albino bat in flight. Photo credit Doug Mackenzie Dodds

White bat photographed by Doug Mackenzie Dodds
January 2012. We've had a white bat visiting our neighbours' garden for 3 years now. It always appears late in the year (August); It never stays long - maybe a week or two, for ten minutes each night; Its been here for three years.

This is the best shot I've managed of it in three attempts over three years!

NB. For those of you of a technical photographic persuasion, I do realise this photo would hardly win any prizes for technical excellence - but this one's ALL about the subject - I've never seen a white bat anywhere else - and I doubt if I ever will again!
Everything on the camera was set to manual:
  • Focus manual (Your camera may focus in the dark - but mine doesn't! I set it to about 3.3m ish and it turned out that this was about right!)
  • Aperture manual.
  • Exposure length - manual - set to 1/250 sec (minimum with flash).
  • ISO equivalent - manual.
  • Flash - manual (set to -1 to avoid burning out the white batty fur).
The hardest thing I've ever taken a photo of and I'm very pleased with the result.
To see more of Doug's photos - click here. 
In albinism the eyes are usually pink or red, and albinism affects the entire animal, not just patches. Other conditions such as leucism can effect just parts of the animal, though many people confuse leucistic animals and birds with albinos. Click here to see our gallery of albino and leucistic animals and birds.   

Read the comments about this article and leave your own comment

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Posted by: kdrcyber | 14 Nov 2015 01:42:09

Hi Doug, I photograph birds in flight with a 600mm hand held DSLR. Even in daylight, I have about 5% success; your night-time photo is stunning.

Posted by: | 23 Jun 2012 09:49:16

I can help :)

Hi there,
I am one of the main active members of the berkshire and south bucks bat group. We would be very happy to help you ID the bat if you like this spring summer? As a new member and very active one i am all over the county and would love to help out. Please respond if your interested.

Posted by: James Shipman | 05 Mar 2012 21:28:30


Hi there,
where was this taken? I am a bat enthusiast in berkshire and would love to help out if i can ID'ing it with bat detectors etc.

kind regards

Posted by: James Shipman | 02 Mar 2012 17:40:00


Thanks for giving this amazing shots Mr.Doug .The shot that you have taken not only shows the percise work but it shows your persistence and persuasion.

Posted by: Hariprakash | 21 Jan 2012 07:43:47

KiarasArt - As you correctly guessed, this was taken in the UK, last August.
Doug (TBR)

Posted by: TBR | 20 Jan 2012 17:52:13

where did you take it?

Which country did you shoot this photo? I guess UK, but as it's not stated in the text ....

There is a white bat species in Costa Rica, however this probably is a successful surviving leucistic/ albino bat from UK. Really nice you saw it and even photographed and shared it with us! :)

Posted by: KiarasArt | 20 Jan 2012 13:09:31

BCT - thanks for your comment. I did approach you last year (August) when I took this shot, but got no real information then - so would be delighted if you could ID this bat properly now?
My zoological knowledge led me to believe this was a heavily leucistic natterers or common pip, but I stand to be corrected on both counts and eagerly await any expert's opinion.
Doug (TBR)

Posted by: TBR | 18 Jan 2012 18:42:39

Jessamy @ BCT

Thank you Doug and WildlifeExtra for these shots. I suspect a Natterer's, as they have the palest bellies. I'd say this *is* a partial albino because body seems uniformly white, but hard to be sure. Will let you know if our Bat ID team have further thoughts!

Posted by: BatConservationTrust | 18 Jan 2012 13:39:19

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