Set the mood for a natural Halloween while learning about bats! Each year, Bat Week provides a focus on bats, their life history, and conservation efforts. This year, Bat Week will be held October 24th-31st.
New York State is home to nine species of bats. They are found all over the state, including New York City. Three species migrate to warmer locations for the winter and the others hibernate during the coldest months. You can learn more about NY’s bats by downloading the DEC bat brochure. Detailed information on three of our bats, Little Brown Bat, Indiana Bat, and Northern Long-eared Bat can be found on DEC’s Watchable Wildlife page. Click here for an Almanack post earlier this week on a red bat sighting.
Did you know that many of our favorite foods are pollinated by bats? Visit Bat Week’s education page for a downloadable cookbook featuring foods we enjoy thanks to bats! You can also find videos, posters, crafts, and activities to share with your classroom. For older students, Bat Week’s Take Action page provides links to webinars, plans to build a bat house, and a bat tracker.
If you are looking for a bat lesson plan, DEC has printable PDFs of Blind as a Bat for K-5, How Do Bats Navigate at Night? for 3rd through 7th grades and Biology of Bats for grades 6-12. National Wildlife Federation also has an online bat education guide called Night Friends-American Bats that includes information on bats in our region and all over the world.
Nature-focused Halloween Resources
Visit DEC’s website for information to enhance your natural holiday celebrations. This Halloween, learn about scaly snakes, stealthy spiders, observant owls, and magical minerals with easy to access and use PDFs brochures and posters. Great for virtual learning!
Conservationist for Kids (C4K) has downloadable copies of past issues, many with teacher’s guides. Skull Science and Alien Invasion! will set a spooky mood. Please note: due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation and the impacts on the state budget, classroom packets of C4K will not be sent out for the October 2020 and most likely February 2021 issues. The issues will continue to be available as PDF downloads from the Conservationist for Kids web page and included in Conservationist magazine. We anticipate resuming distribution of classroom packets with the April 2021 issue, although plans are not yet finalized. If you are currently on the distribution list, you will receive packets once they resume, and you will remain on the list unless we are notified to remove you. If you are not on the distribution list and would like to be added, please email the editor.
For November, learn about Why Leaves Change Color and Nature’s Palette and take a Great Autumn Hike while you #AdventureAtHome. All this fresh air and exercise may have you thinking about Thanksgiving dinner. DEC has a brochure on turkeys, a turkey poster, and an issue of C4K that’s all about Turkeys to help you celebrate this symbolic bird!