Saturday, August 1, 2009

Gone Batty

I had mentioned in my earlier post that Friday was one of those nature-filled days, one chock-full of interesting finds.

And here was a great one. The ever-observant camp kids heard a buzzy squeaking noise. It ended up belonging to a colony of bats!

This was the first one we spotted. Look at that face!
One little...

My friend Samantha Williams ID'd them when I posted them on Facebook as Northern Long-eared Bats, Myotis septentrionalis. I had thought they were the more common Big Brown bats.
Sam said the Northern Long-eared bats have longer ears, Big Browns have smaller more rounded ears. I looked up a little info on another site and it said the tragus, the triangular fleshy part inside the ear, is more pointed on Myotis species. Myotis septentrionalis also has ears a bit longer than their snout and fur on their muzzle, the area around their mouth.

Soon a second one emerged.
Two little...
Curious, I looked up a little info on these critters. They have two habitats: a summer roosting and foraging site and a winter hibernation site. So in the fall, these bats will migrate south and then hibernate, most likely in a cave with other bat species. Northern Long-eared Bats mostly eat moths and beetles, with a few other flying insects thrown in. About 13% of their diet is spiders and caterpillars that they glean from the trees. I could not find any information on how common they are in Indiana, but will try to find out!

A third one popped out its head and quickly went back to sleep.
Three little sleepy bats!

Number three was sleeping with its little tongue sticking out,

just like my cat does when she is content. How adorable!

In this picture you can see the triangular tragus and fur on the muzzle.

My friend Linsi found a few more in another crevice. I am guessing we had about 20 total.

This one had to have its own private lodgings. There

always has to be a prima donna of the group!

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i beati said...

In my everyday life I just do not see enopugh of these..Sandy

Anna said...

They're actually kind of cute. I've never really seen any bats, but would like to have some around if they would eat the mosquitoes.

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

What a great photo journal story! I love watching bats in the night sky.

Mara said...

I've only ever 'seen' bats in the dark while they were flying around us, but never up close and never like this. How brilliant! And thank you for the information.

Snap said...

Oh, my goodness! I see bats at the zoo and used to see a dead bat (not a good idea -- in my neck of the woods a dead bat is usually rabid) when we lived on Galveston Island. There is a bridge here in town where a colony of bats live and there are folks who give a bat talk every now and then at the bridge. Great shots. Thanks

SandyCarlson said...

Why do they remind me around the eyes of my guinea pig?

Creepy an cute at the same time.

Wolynski said...

They're kind of cute, but not when they're flying. Great phtos.

Janet Creamer said...

Thanks everyone for the comments. I am glad to share the pics with you. I have only seen bats up close like that about 5 times, so it was a real treat for me, too.

Kelly said...

...those little fellows are soooo cute! I love seeing them fly around at night. Loved the story...