View Full Version : Bats

8-25-12, 6:06pm
CathyA, was it you who said you liked bats?

I was walking across the porch last night near one of our tall shrubs, and all of a sudden here come these two little guys whizzing out of it, heading for the sky. I must have startled them coming so close. I looked up into the sky after them and there must have been a dozen of them, wheeling and dipping all over the place. Could they have been roosting in my shrub? I can't think of any other reason why they'd be in there. There was something so right and normal about all those bats up there doing their job.

I love bees too, but there's something about bats and a healthy ecosystem.......if the bats die off, we will be in some serious trouble here out West.

Square Peg
8-25-12, 8:27pm
I love bats too, and I am so sad about their troubles.

8-25-12, 9:07pm
How cool Pug! I don't think they were roosting in the bushes. Could they have been on the siding of the house behind the bushes? But you know..........I've never thought about if they rest in bushes! I know they rest upside down, so they probably could rest upside down in a bush. I guess I always picture them hanging from the solid side of a building, but I'm sure they hang from tree limbs........so why not bush branches? You should carefully check it out during the daytime and see if they are in there, since they're nocturnal. I usually only have 2-4 in my yard at one time. How cool to have so many! A long time ago, I found one resting on the side of my house, up by the roof. He only stayed one day........so I think he was just traveling through!

8-25-12, 9:21pm
CathyA, I'm thinking maybe...I don't know enough about bat behavior. Maybe resting? Or resting long enough to nibble whatever they'd caught? No idea, but I think you're right....it wouldn't make a good roost.

Now I'm wondering what kind of bats they are....

P.S., we took a trip a couple of years ago to a place in Colorado where there's an enormous bat cave, and during the summer at dusk hundreds of thousands of them come flying out. Here's a picture: http://dnr.state.co.us/ImageDBImages/23694Desktop.JPG
Amazing and beautiful.

8-26-12, 5:42am
I love bats too, when we lived inPA they wee plentiful where we lived...

8-26-12, 8:49am
Wow Pug.....did you take that picture? Its beautiful! Have you ever seen the DVD "Planet Earth"? One part is about bats.
You know, I never thought about this, but I don't think bats walk......just like hummingbirds don't walk. I wonder if they rest upright, or if they always hang upside down? I'll have to read up on them!
We only have the Indiana bat around here. They are such cool birds! I was just reading about their "hibernacula" and where they like to hibernate, and where they like to rest. It has some pretty definite qualifications. (Height, openness, ventilation, etc.).
I wonder if you can see them in the bushes today? They sleep pretty deeply, so you probably won't disturb them.
Before I knew what cool creatures they were, we killed one that got into our house. I have always felt really bad about that. :(

Tussiemussies........where did you live in PA? I was born in New Castle.

8-26-12, 9:38am
Hi Cathy, we lived in Shamokin off of Rt. 61. My family was from there my Mom moved to NJ after high school. Any Shamokites here?

It was a small coal mining town that is dysfunction now. The town is sadly becoming run down...

I have hear of New Castle where is it?

8-26-12, 10:01am
CathyA, I did not take that picture but have a similar one on my camera. It's a pretty amazing place, near Crestone, Colorado.

8-26-12, 11:03am
I had a bat in the house a couple of weeks ago; my neighbor helped me invite it outside (that was a task, believe me) and generated some discussion. We see far fewer bats in the evening here than a few years ago. There is an illness, a white-nose fungus, that is creating havoc with our bats. Here is an article about that: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2012/05/03/nb-bat-population-disappearing.html. there is a suggestion in the article that the decline in bat populations will result in more insects which will create problems in agriculture, thereby causing food prices to rise. That seems to me to be a pretty weakly linked chain of causality but if the fear of increasing prices causes people to pay attention, then I guess it is okay. Anyway, the idea is that the fungus is an invasive that humans were likely responsible for introducing.

I have no idea if there is something we can do to help, but getting that bat out of my house without apparent harm was a priority. The usual stuff of providing houses doesn't seem to address the fungus problem but between the bats and bees, we are in some trouble.

The close proximity of my visitor last week was a gift, of sorts. I got to observe a bat (admittedly not in natural circumstances) more closely than ever before. Quite interesting creatures but I did notice that I don't have the "warm fuzzies" for this mammal that many mammals generate in me.

8-26-12, 12:40pm
leslieann.......I wish I had taken the time to coax it out of the house. I was ignorant.......
Tussies........I just looked up Shamokin, PA, and its sort of on the other side of the state that I grew up in. New Castle is about 1 hour north of Pittsburgh......not far from the eastern part of Ohio.
Is Shamokin in the Appalachians? I looked it up on Google Earth and the topography was very interesting.
Pug.....you would really enjoy "Planet Earth". The section on bats was interesting. Those poor photographers! They had to climb up on a huge mound of bat guano to get some of their pictures! And if I remember correctly, there were a million cockroaches eating the guano. I don't know if you could pay me enough!

8-26-12, 3:13pm
Bats ARE fascinating creatures, and I am glad that they are finally getting appreciated.
They locate their prey (night flying insects) by sonar. They squeak and the echoes coming back from the flying insects pinpoint where they are. When my kids were little they used to trick bats by tossing pebbles up into the air, the bats would fly to the pebble, then veer off when they realized the pebble wasn't a bug. Bats learn fast, it didn't take many tossed pebbles for them to learn to ignore them. That was back in the dark ages, when kids played outdoors after dinner.

8-26-12, 3:54pm
LOL Tweety..........my son did that too!

8-28-12, 11:05pm
Very cool, Pug! I asked DH since he's very into bats. He thinks it's possible that some bats in CO will temporarily roost in bushes and trees, especially in the summer. He thinks it's more common for single males to roost that way but not out of the realm of possibility for several to roost in a large bush, depending on species (he mentioned there's 16-18 species in CO). We commonly see some bats if we walk the dog in the evenings....always nice to know they are eating mosquitoes!
I need to look up that bat cave! Is it near the town of Crestone or did you mean the peak?

8-29-12, 7:24am
Around 17 years ago, we took a vacation with the kids to Mackinaw Michigan......its the city that's at the very northern point of the state. Anyhow every evening tons of bats would come flying out. People would be screaming and dodging into the stores to avoid them. it was funny.
Sure wish we had more than 1 variety of them here in central Indiana. Once you get over the myth that they fly into your hair and get stuck, there's really nothing to worry about. They are professionals, after all. :)

8-29-12, 2:28pm
@Rosie, the cave is here at the Orient Land Trust: http://www.olt.org/programs/bats/bats.htm

We didn't stay at the Hot Springs, but in the area. And it was pretty fun to just knock around Crestone/Moffat/Alamosa for a few days. We took the walk up to the cave very slowly and brought a picnic and a flashlight. A good time!

8-29-12, 6:28pm
CathyA, I did not take that picture but have a similar one on my camera. It's a pretty amazing place, near Crestone, Colorado.

Crestone is a cool place. I spent alot of time in my younger days hiking and climbing in the Sangre de Cristos. Got to know a lot of the first wave of Cresties in those days, before Baca Grande got going. Now that was an eclectic group! Anyway, the bats there are amazing to watch. So far this summer I have not seen a single bat here in Nebraska. We're in the midst of an exceptional drought and there are almost no bugs. Hopefully the colonies have simply moved to a location where there is more food.

8-29-12, 7:52pm
Count me & DH in with the bat-lovers. There's a place on a lake in the Berkshires where we stay sometimes, and at night, we slather ourselves with bug spray, go grab a hammock and watch the bats swoop around the lake.

dado potato
9-3-12, 1:04am
I love bats, outdoors.

small & friendly
9-3-12, 6:37pm
I must confess I do not get the 'warm fuzzies' over bats, either. My oldest son once trapped and removed a bat from my living room (where it had tucked itself into a 1/2 - inch space between the wall and ceiling trim). As he carried it outside, he remarked tenderly, "It's little heart is beating so fast!" He did not get that from me! ;)

Miss Cellane
9-3-12, 9:29pm
I'm another who likes bats, outdoors.

The last bat that got into my house got killed--there's a 25-30% chance that a bat in my area has rabies. The state tested the bat and it didn't have rabies, but it was dying of the same white nose disease that leslieann mentioned.

Mostly, we try to let bats fly out of the house on their own. But if you have been sleeping in the house while a bat was flying around, the CDC recommends getting the bat tested for rabies. And we actually thought this last bat was dead to begin with--it was just lying in the sink, not moving, even when we picked it up.

Bats are one of those things that I can appreciate, but I don't really want up close and personal. Same with some insects and with snakes. There are good insects and good snakes, but I don't necessarily want them in my house.

There's a house across the park from me with many bat houses in their back yard. If you walk past in the late evening, you can see the bats flying about.

10-17-12, 4:15pm
Still pretty batty around here at night, and we signed up for this: http://calendar.botanicgardens.org/show/detail/58388
(bat lovers will smile, bat-avoiders will say "eeeeeeeeeeuwwwww!" :) )