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.
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:
And some other random pictures from the zoo yesterday: