[Tweeters] Re: A bat

vogelfreund at comcast.net vogelfreund at comcast.net
Wed Feb 4 02:50:18 PST 2009

I don't get out to see bats very often, so that sighting of mine from several years ago is still in my mind. It flew low and straight between the two of us and was not at all afraid of us. We may have irritated it by our owl tape playing. I recall it looked blackish brown; not a warm brown. It happened too fast for details. But I don't think it was a Big Brown Bat (field guide). Hal Opperman's book says that Hoary Bats fly in a straight line, as this one did. It was along the Connely Creek nature trail with lots of trees. Being March (I'm pretty sure it was, w/o looking up my notes), it may've been a bat returning from winter quarters further south. On the other hand, maybe it was instinctively seeking out large mammals that harbor insects hovering around warm bodies? Also, a garden enterprise nearby (Joe's Garden) is noted for bats (assume Myotis spp.) in warmer weather flying around outdoor lights at night.

Well,I think I ran my subject into the ground - ha ha.

Phil Hotlen; Bellingham, WAA
-------------- Original message ----------------------

> Friends,

> It's a rare evening when I don't see a moth or two on the kitchen

> window. Temperatures at particular small sites can be quite different

> from the "official" temperature. And many insects aren't really limited

> by 32F. An active bat could probably find something to eat on most

> nights in western Washington. But this bat might not have been feeding.



> Bats will awaken and change roosts because they were disturbed by

> temperature changes, parasites, or activity. This is why it's so

> important to stay out of bat hibernacula. You might pass a bat in a

> cave or other site and think it's still asleep. If it was disturbed, it

> may not become active at all for several minutes and may not be able to

> fly for 15 minutes or more. Awakening imposes a huge energy load on a

> delicate system. The white-nose fungus that's causing such a problem in

> the east appears to kill bats by irritating them to the point where they

> don't sleep soundly and starve.


> No one has found a silver-haired or hoary bat in Washington in the

> winter. We assume that they all migrate to CA or Mexico, although

> that's not documented. If you'd been able to identify it as either of

> these, you'd be rich and famous...at least you'd be well known within a

> very small group which would probably pass the hat to buy you a cup of

> coffee.


> John Fleckenstein

> Olympia, WA


> Message: 26

> Date: Tue, 3 Feb 2009 09:33:01 -0800

> From: "Rob Sandelin" <floriferous at msn.com>

> Subject: RE: [Tweeters] A bat!

> To: "'Tweeters'" <tweeters at u.washington.edu>

> Message-ID: <BLU0-SMTP33C81C2C232D28186FC9A6A3C20 at phx.gbl>

> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"


> Actually there are species of insects which mate in the winter (less

> predators around then) and they fly when the temps are above 40 degrees.

> The

> winter crane flies in the family Trichoceridae can fly at temperatures a

> bit

> below 40. They are relatively slow and weak fliers and would be food for

> either bats, or winter swallows. They are sometimes in dense mating

> swarms

> in a bit of sunlight in the forest, or at the edges of forests.


> Rob Sandelin

> Naturalist, Writer, Teacher

> Snohomish


> -----Original Message-----

> From: tweeters-bounces at mailman2.u.washington.edu

> [mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman2.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of

> vogelfreund at comcast.net

> Sent: Monday, February 02, 2009 8:00 PM

> To: Tweeters

> Subject: Re: [Tweeters] A bat!


> Yeah, sounds like the one that flew low between me and another person

> many

> years ago here in Bellingham. It was dusk, and we were trying to call

> barred

> owls. It seemed like it was telling us that it was not amused. This was

> in

> March, I think; anyway seemingly too cold for insects to be out and

> about.


> Phil Hotlen

> Bellingham, WA


> -------------- Original message ----------------------

> From: mgd at myuw.net

> > I was walking the dog around Seward Park this evening and saw a bat!

> > This was at

> > 5:25 p.m. It was large?certainly larger than a Myotis, and I'd guess

> > bigger than a Big Brown--maybe a Hoary or Silver-haired bat? It?s the

> > earliest in the year I?ve seen an active bat.

> >

> > It was too late in the day for it to see it?s shadow?

> >

> > Mike Donahue

> > Beacon Hill, Seattle

> >

> > ***************************************

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