Let’s talk bats. Since I am not an expert on this subject, I’ll be doing a little research as I write this story. Let’s learn together, shall we? The purpose of this story is because every day I see a bunch of bats flying around in a group outside my house. Is that what we should call them, a “bunch?” They fly about the sky over the deck out back and they are believed to be living in the chimney of the building that is behind my house. Anyway, I have seen them go in there so I am guessing that is where they live. But, to be honest, I’ve never seen them come out of there. My preconceived idea of what little I know about bats is that they sleep all day and only come out at night. However, these bats are small and I wonder if they are babies feasting at morning, noon, and evening because I’ve seen them all times of day in the summer. So, it is my quest today to learn more. Off to the research pages I go and I will be back with more information in a minute or two.
OK. I’m back. So, here is what I learned. Baby bats begin to fly at six weeks of age so they can go out and feed on insects. There was a children’s version of the history of bats that was very helpful. It even had cartoon pictures instead of the hideous photos of the real thing. These are very ugly items, these bats. What are they? Well, they are mammals, of course. Alright, let’s keep doing some research. I’ll continue gravitating toward the children’s section to avoid any more of the ugly little mammals faces that tend to be hissing at the camera in every photo of the grown-up section I was in before. Yuck! I can see that I am going to learn, rather see, too much if I continue on this path but now I’m convinced that bats are meant to be learned about and not seen. Resources like Wikipedia are very direct and graphic in their depiction of the details of bat growth and development and I just want to know if the flying mammals I see outside my window in a group of about 20 are actually bats. They do not look like birds. Like I said, they come out in the morning and again at noon and later in the evening, before dark. I always assumed they were eating. Sometimes, in the past, I have seen dozens of them flying together around the water basin. What I read also indicates they are preyed upon by some species just as they prey on insects for food. It is also interesting to point out that I never see anything else in the sky when they are flying about. It is all systems clear while the bats are winging their way to what looks like a play date, really. It is enjoyable to watch because it is different. But I will say, they know how to clear a room. I didn’t learn 750 words work of materials about bats today so I will have to continue my search for information. So far, I have learned that bats hibernate in the winter. The cute little photo in the children’s page shows them in a blanket hanging upside down. Awwwww. Apparently, they lose body weight during the month of February and only leave the nest for food or water so the hibernating is still happening. New word alert! Torpid. Means to become mentally and physically inactive or lethargic. This is the month of March for bats. These little guys are hungry in April and move around at night for food. OK. I’m learning a lot here. In May the females create their nesting sites and prepare for birth in June. Haven’t they been sleeping? In July they continue to stay with mom and in August they get out there and begin feasting as I pointed out earlier. September and October months are their mating season. November and December are hibernating season so they can begin the cycle all over again.
Sadly, these little mammals do not land so I cannot take a picture and send it off to the new app I have that recognizes stuff from photos. The other day a friend took a photo of a snake she found in her yard and sent it to this site and they gave her two options and said neither was dangerous. But these bats are not sitting still for a photo. I can hardly capture a decent picture of a bird to send to them. Though now that I have the app I will try to do more of that. What I have learned is that bats are cauldrons or colonies (not a bunch). I hope this was an educational visit to my blog today. Thanks for listening.
P. S. I used Google and Wikipedia to search for bat facts. I also referenced an excellent site called “A Year in the Life of a Bat” at this link https://www.bats.org.uk/about-bats/a-year-in-the-life-of-a-bat