Bats are the only flying mammals. During the summer months, visitors to the Beaver Boardwalk can watch small bats flying over Maxwell Lake. The bats use echolocation to find flying insects, eating up to 1,000 mosquitoes in a single hour.
To echolocate, bats send out sound waves from their mouth or nose. When the sound waves hit an object, they produce echoes. The echo bounces off the object and returns to the bats ears. Bats listen to the echoes to figure out where the object is, how big it is, and its shape.
Using echolocation, bats can detect objects as thin as a human hair in complete darkness. Contrary to popular belief, bats aren't blind, but they can use echolocation to find their way around very quickly in total darkness.
Bats make up a quarter of all mammal species on earth! Just 7 of about 1,000 worldwide bat species occur here, possessing adaptations for a short summer and long, cold winter. Local bats are about the size of a mouse and are covered in fur to keep them warm.
SOME OF THE LOCAL BATS INCLUDE:
• Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus)
• Eastern Red Bat (Lasiurus borealis)
• Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinereus)
• Long-eared Bat (Myotis evotis)
• Long-legged Bat (Myotis volans)
• Northern Bat (Myotis septentrionalis)
THE LITTLE BROWN BAT
As its name suggests, the little brown bat is dark brown, with glossy back and slightly pale grey fur underneath. Its wings are also dark brown, usually spanning 22-27 cm, with small and black ears. An adult little brown bat will be between 6-10 cm long, and weigh between 5-14 grams. The Male little brown bat will usually be smaller than the female.
DID YOU KNOW?
Local bats hibernate or migrate south in the winter. Bats hibernate in caves and old mines where there are more stable temperatures and humidity levels throughout the winter.