Bats on a Solstice Evening

It was nearing 21:45h on June 20th.  Steve and I were visiting Bruce and Adele with several other friends.  The sun had set behind Mount Prevost an hour earlier.  Adele disappeared and then I heard her call, “Gail, come here quickly!” Through the twilight, I spotted her sitting on a beautiful old wooden bench at the edge of the trees.

We all hurried over and I sat beside Adele. “Look, just up, right in front” she whispered. Suddenly a bat darted right in front of me.  Then another, a pause and then another.  Bill attached his ultra-sonic microphone (from Wildlife Acoustics) to his iPhone via the data port.  Immediately, signals appeared on the screen, accompanied by intriguing high pitched calls.

Bats can be identified by the frequency of their calls.  Bill’s microphone picked up four different calls which were instantly identified by an app on his phone.

The Little Brown Myotis – image taken from the Missouri Department of Conservation website.

The Silver haired Bat image taken from the University of Wisconsin website

Adam Mann, Environmental Solutions and Innovations.

The Hoary Bat image taken from Animal Spot website

The Mexican Free-tailed Bat image taken from the Arizona Highways website

Bruce and Adele’s property has several good sites for bat roosts.  Bill suggested that high in the tall Douglas Firs – with their thick, coarse bark  – would likely be a place for bats to find a roosting spot.

Bill is working on a Bat project with CERCA.  These data can be added to the project.  Thank you Bill for sharing this amazing technology.  Thank you Bruce and Adele for inviting us to be there. What a way to celebrate Solstice!

Gail