Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Outdoor Hour Challenge: Bats and the Sense of Hearing July 14, 2010

Filed under: Exploring Nature — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 2:02 pm

This week’s outdoor hour challenge was bats.  Living in the middle of nowhere (for now…it is a future subdivision), I thought we’d be able to find bats easily, but after checking for several nights, we weren’t able to see any.  We might be too far away from bodies of water and woods to see active bats. 

So, in order to complete the challege, we had to be a bit more creative (camping is out of the question for a few more weeks…but we’ll look for bats when we can get out camping too).  We did the part of the challenge that was about going outside at night and listening.  The kids and I went out around 10:00 PM and sat on the patio.  We didn’t notice any animals walking or flying around, but we did see a ton of lightning bugs.  We also heard birds, frogs, crickets, and other bugs.  Jedi noticed that you can hear a lot more outside at night verses during the day.

Night ambiance

We also watched some you-tube videos about bats, as well as listened to a clip of the Big Brown Bat’s echolocation sounds that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has online: Bat Sound Clip

Some things about bats that we learned were:

-Bats can live in between the bark and trunk of a tree

-Bats hibernate in caves, but don’t sleep the entire time.  They wake up every few weeks and fly around outside if it’s warm.

-Bats are nocturnal.  Sometimes, you’ll find a bat during the day, but for the most part, they will come out at night about an hour after sunset.

-Bats can delay gestation for months after the female becomes fertile.

-Most bats don’t attack people, and they don’t attack hair like the stereotypes are.  They find something to eat using echolocation–they release a sound, see where the sound bounces off, and from that can determine where their prey are.

We went to the zoo so that the kids had an opportunity to see bats in person.  The Columbus Zoo didn’t have any North American bats, but they did have some Dog Faced Bats from Australia to observe:

Bat eating

Sleeping upside down

Another sleeping bat


And some other random pictures from the zoo yesterday:

Did you know flamingos sleep with their heads on their backs?

Jedi on a statue of his favorite animal...a hammerhead shark.

A giant tortoise

A bird in the aviary

A porcupine

A kangaroo that got really close to us on the kangaroo trail. We learned that kangaroo newborns are the size of a bumblebee, and that a kangaroo can have one baby in the uterus, one in the pouch, and one nursing all at the same time!

Monkey and her daddy

Polar bear

Brown bears kissing

Brown bears fighting

The rainbow we saw in our backyard when we got home


One Response to “Outdoor Hour Challenge: Bats and the Sense of Hearing”

  1. harmonyartmom Says:

    Your family did a great job with this challenge. We have been seeing a few bats every night but they are usually out just at dusk.

    I love that you went to the zoo and were able to see some bats up close and observe their features.

    Thank you so much for your link.

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