Bats

Local Streams

Would you like to know how bats feed by using echolocation, or how mothers care for their young? Learn the basic facts and dispel some of the common myths about bats.

Curious About our Nocturnal Flying Friends...Bats?

Would you like to know how bats feed by using echolocation, or how mothers care for their young? Learn the basic facts and dispel some of the common myths about bats.

Bats have had declining numbers over the past 50 or more years. It is believed that the loss of roosting habitat needed for maternity colonies is largely responsible for this decline. Locating new colonies and searching out their commute routes and feeding areas are fascinating pursuits, as well as important for protecting vital roost locations.

Using electronic devices called bat detectors, we can eavesdrop on the echolocation sounds that bats use to guide their navigation in the dark (like sonar). Recordings of these sounds can be used to determine the species of bats under observation and what they are doing – such as feeding or just passing through. Stream corridors are important landscape features for bats, both for foraging and for their value as commute pathways between roosts and feeding locations. Studies have shown more bat activity along streams and rivers than in forests, fields and other natural features.

On a typical summer night at Capitol Lake, well over 3,000 bats may be seen feeding as they skim low over the water’s surface. Many of them are Yuma bats and little brown bats, who have made the 8-mile trip from the Woodard Bay Natural Resource Conservation Area to feed at the lake