We Love Bats!

Local bat expert Chris Edelen of EchoBats, Inc. visited our stores and shared his expertise with us how bats beneficial occupants of your backyard, how to make your yard a welcoming environment for these misunderstood creatures, and dispel common misconceptions surrounding these furry, flying mammals!o  

o   His takeaway point was that as long as there were people gathered to learn more about how they could help nature and animals, there was hope

o   Began with dispelling myths about bats- not fly in people’s hair, not blind, no vampire bats here

o   History of EchoBats, Inc

o   History of bats

o   Eyesight- echolocation

o   1,000 different species of bats

o   Vampire bats- only 3 species, not like humans as much as cattle

o   Chiroptera- skeleton

o   Bats- insectivores

o   Biggest bats here- Hoary and Red Tail

o   Most common around here- Big brown bat or little brown bat

o   What do bats like to eat- fruits, insects, scorpions, nectar

o   Bat habitats- how to make friendlier, add water, add pollinating plants to attract bugs for bats to eat, trees in yard- bat houses facing morning sun, put out of way of predators, paint dark colors, he mentioned our bat houses and that they were good houses for bats

o   Roosting

o   Benefits of bats- insect control, farmers put up bat houses, guano- detoxify industrial waste

o   Bats like mosquitos, but not their favorite. They prefer moths or other bigger bugs

o   Echolocate

o   To encourage bats into your yard- put in pond or birdbath

o   Bats threatened- b/c habitat loss, disease fears- people killing bats, some people eating bats, wind turbines

o   They are making bat and bird friendly wind turbines

o   White nose syndrome- lots of people working on this now

o   They hang upside down because they do not have strong thigh muscles

o   Bats do not hibernate in bat houses, go South for winter

o   You want to have your bat house up by early spring

o   There is hope as long as people are doing something

o   The thing we could all do= be more vocal about it, dispel common myths and protect bats

-          After his talk, he brought out cage with two big brown bats- he brought them around in the cage

o   He put on his echolocate machine so that we could actually hear the clicks when they were echolocating

o   He had a clump of paperclips that he passed around that was the same weight of the big brown bat

o   He then put mealworms in with the bats- the bats started to eat which was when we heard the clicks