International Bat Day is a great time to appreciate New York’s nine bat species. When spring temperatures become warm enough, bats will leave their hibernation sites and may be seen flying in search of insects. Unfortunately, many species of bats, including little brown bats, have faced severe population declines due to white-nose syndrome.
Some bat facts:
- They are insect-eating machines, eating thousands of mosquitoes and other flying insects in a single night!
- Bats use echolocation (rapid pulses of sound that bounce off an object) to detect and catch insects.
- They are the only mammal that can fly.
- Bats are more closely related to primates than to mice.
To view bats, check out your local park or forested area, especially near water and along trails. Even your own backyard can be a great place to view bats if you have trees near your home!
Learn more about bats in Bats of New York State (PDF). Bats generally do not come close to people. However, if you do encounter a bat on the ground, do not touch or pick it up as they can carry rabies.
Photo by Al Hicks/provided