Big brown bats are present in low numbers and should increase as flying insect populations increase in numbers. Early morning hours after temperatures warm-up may provide the best times to view clusters of big brown bats as they return to the roost.
vital to Washington's ecosystems. Although they are one of
our most fascinating native mammals, they are probably the
least studied and understood. All of our bats are insect eaters,
consuming millions, many of which are pests. They find insects
and navigate in the dark by "echolocation," a type of radar
system. They call out notes, usually far above human range
of hearing, and "listen" for the returning echoes that tell
them what is front of them. This ability is so refined that
they have no trouble "seeing" tiny insects and catching them in total darkness.
has 16 of the world's more than 900 species of bats. The most
significant threats to bat survival are persecution by humans
and loss of habitat. Vandalism and disturbance of roosting
caves, maternity colonies, loss of tree snags, and careless
use of pesticides all seriously threaten remaining populations.
live in many different habitats, including: caves, abandoned
mines, cliffs, rock crevices, wood piles, under loose tree
bark, in dead tree hollows, under bridges, and in barns, attics,
and other human structures.In winter when insects become scarce,
bats either migrate south to warmer climes or hibernate. They
may sleep in winter roosts, or "hibernacula", for up to six
months, living off the fat they have built up in the summer.
generally give birth to a single pup sometime between mid
May to mid July. Born hairless and helpless, the babies mature
quickly. Their ears and eyes open within hours and they learn
to fly in three to six weeks.
Can You Do to Help Bats?
not disturb roosting bats
habitat, whenever and wherever possible:
hollow trees and snags
forested areas, wetlands and cave systems
up bat houses
your use of pesticides
bat conservation groups