Tough to be entirely sure, but this is probably the Big Brown Bat.
I spent another evening shooting bats with Bill Forbes at his Elephant Head Pond along with a couple of the upcoming bear trip participants Dixie Pearson and Kathleen Reeder. In just one full night I was able to photograph 79 bats drinking. Of course some were going the wrong way. After editing I chose 9 keepers that I was happy with. This is the 4th time I've photographed over Bill's pond and these were the best set I got. I used 2 cameras, the 5 D Mark II with the 500 F4 and the 7D with the 70 - 200 2.8. Almost all of my favorite shots were with the 5 D and larger lens combo. You end up clipping more wings that way but I like the close ups better so it's a fair trade in my opinion. Almost all of the set up is done just before dark. Although I own a phototrap that Bill makes (Phototrap.com) Bill sets up his own equipment which involves multiple trips and 4 to 5 flashes. When the beam is broken it sets of the flashes, The camera is set for F16 and 20 sec exposures so the flash is the trigger, not the camera. The camera just records the image when light is available. You have the choice of triggering the camera yourself when you see a bat, or just leave it consecutively taking pictures as long as you are there. I chose the latter this time which allowed me to take pictures all night long. I left the cameras in Med Raw, and twice I changed the batteries and recharged them in the evening and once changed a cf card. This was easy since I just camped there but Bill has a nice cabin set up for visiting photographers at a very reasonable rate ($60 night). We ended up photographing at least 3 species that June evening, a pallid bat (Antrozous pallidus) which is the blond one above, a big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus) that is skimming the water and at least one of the many Myotis spp found in Arizona. If you are interested in shooting on the pond please feel free to contact me and we can set up an evening. Or you can contact Bill directly and he can set you up as well.
The endangered long nosed bat approaches an agave flower to insert it's long tongue into the flower to lap up the nectar. They will feed almost all night.
My favorite time to shoot bats there is when the nectiverous bats come in to the hummingbird feeders and agave flowers in late August and September. It's possible to get hundreds of shots in an evening using the phototrap system.
This shot and the one below were taken with a 5 D Mark II and a 17 - 40 mm lens so I had the camera just inches from the flower to get as much detail as possible. There were 5 flashes set up here to make sure I got detail on the bats what ever direction they came from. The species of bat is actually an endangered species known as the Mexican Long Nosed bat (Leptonycterus nivalis). There is another nectar drinking bat, the Mexican long Tongued bat (Choeronycteis mexicana) and with a photo they can be distinguished from each other when they are flying. If you look on the photo below you will note that the membrane on the legs of the one of the species looks like "pants" as it is not continuous as is the other. That is the Mexican Long Nosed, the one with the complete skirt is the Long Tongued bat. Both are migratory species and in the few months they spend in Arizona they change locations to follow the large night flowering plants with whom they have a symbiotic relationship. They are known pollinators of many species including saguaros and Organ Pipe cactus. In Mexico they concentrate on agave and yucca flowers, both of which are used to make spirits such as tequila and mescal. It was originally thought that private tequila "stills" were resulting in reduced food sources but more recent studies dispute this. In fact, some of the large factory tequila mescal farms may actually be benefiting either or both species.
"chomping on some pollen"
They also eat pollen and of course when they go in for nectar their faces are covered with pollen from the flower they just left. This spreads and helps sexually reproducing plants pollinate, hence both species benefit from the relationship. It is quite exciting to see up to 40 bats hovering around one flower stalk. If you are interested I highly encourage you to contact myself of Bill so you can experience and photograph a phenomena in nature few even know about much less see.
I have been spending a couple weekends so far shooting birds from blinds at 2 locations run by friends of mine that offer excellent chances to photograph a variety of species at close range in just a morning or 2. I first want to tell you about Bill Forbes' Elephant Head Pond on his property in Amado, Arizona, approximately 40 miles south of Tucson. In just 2 mornings and one afternoon I was able to photograph 22 species and have over 100 "keepers" that I need to continue processing.
I was able to shoot several shots of each of the following species: Gambel's Quail, Mourning, White winged and Inca Doves, the Eurasian Collared Dove, Gila and Ladder-backed Woodpeckers, Verdin, Cactus Wren, Curve-billed Thrasher, Pyrrhuloxia, Northern Cardinal, Canyon Towhee, Brewer's Sparrow, Cassin's Sparrow, Black-throated Sparrow, English House Sparrow (hey, it's a bird right?), Chipping Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, White Crowned Sparrow, Brown Headed Cowbird, and the House Finch. You can view a representation of what I shot here (just click here). I was happy to have such a good representation of the High Sonoran Desert birds from right at the base of the Santa Rita Mountains. Bill will get an influx of several more species but I knew that at this time of year I would be lucky to get any thing but residents and some wintering sparrows. That's what I got and I got 95% of what I could hope for.
There were a few broad billed and black chinned hummingbirds around but I didn't have the time to do a set up for them. His place is great for that as it warms up and more birds arrive.
Bill's nice water feature, built for bird and bat photography, with blinds all around and several feeders that are filled twice a day make for excellent opportunities to shoot. He also has a series of nice perches ranging for live cholla growing in a wheel barrow to saguaro skeletons that can be set up as you wish. I also had clipped and brought some lower elevation wildflowers and flowering shrubs that I keep in flower tubes to add to the background and you might want to do the same. His location at the base of the Santa Rita's and just a "stones throw" from Madera Canyon ensure the birds will be there. I have shot there at several different times of the year and I'm well aware of why well known photographers such as the McDonalds or Allen Murphy use his location (s) for some of their photo tours. He also has a location reserved in Madera Canyon just across from the Santa Rita Lodge and a couple new friends and I will shoot there in mid April. Look for my report on that in a month or so.
Although I have every intention of leading tours there where I help people better their skills and get some great bird images you don't have to go with me. Especially if you feel comfortable on your own. Book early though as his places fill up at the prime time for our SE nesting species and migrants. You can easily reach Bill by calling him at 520 444-6649 and/or check out his website at phototrap.com. If you do call him please tell him I referred you as Bill has been very good to me and I want him to know I appreciate it.