Bats, Bats and more Bats!

You are likely thinking to yourself, will Lizzie’s blog only be about bats? No… not to worry, I will blog about other things, such as there will be some Freaks & Grimm updates coming as well as Japan planning. I’m on a bit of a bat blog frenzy because they are only really active for a few months here as they hibernate for several months. That’s right folks, in colder climates such as Southern Ontario, bats will hibernate in the fall/winter months (approximately six months), usually from late fall (Oct/Nov) until spring arrives (Mar/Apr). During hibernation bats will wake up every once in a while to hydrate themselves, otherwise we won’t see them. I need to get my bat adventures in when I can!

Contrary to popular belief not all bats hibernate in caves, in fact due to urbanization, many bats will hibernate in attics or the walls of homes. Generally it is Big Brown Bats that will be found hibernating in homes. Some Canadian bat species such as Silver-haired, Red and Hoary Bats will migrate several hundred kilometres between summer and winter roosts to warmer climates. 

Here is a great article by Canadian bat expert Brock Fenton. Funnily enough Brock is my neighbours cousin and I hope to one day meet him. That would be the ultimate bat nerd moment for me! https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/bat

Thursday, August 8, 8pm.

It was a cooler night (finally) and a bit breezy so I didn’t have my hopes high. We decided to wander along Vine avenue and we were pleasantly surprised. We saw a bat (swooped by us) at the Sweet Potato parking lot. We also had a strong signal on the Bat Seeker as we sat in the park.

High Park never fails to disappoint us. We heard some very strong bat sounds just south of Humberside.

Type of bats: Big Brown Bat
No. Mosquito bites: 0

Saturday, August 10, 8pm.

We had the pleasure to be poolside at a friends BBQ last night. When dusk hit we got out the Bat Seeker. We saw and heard at least two different bats flying around. The bats we saw were much larger than the ones we have recently seen and around the same size as the Silverhaired Bats we’ve seen at High Park. I’m wondering if that is possibly what we saw. If you know what kinds of bats tend be be in Toronto’s Rouge Hill neighbourhood, please let me know.

This is a great read for bat lovers. https://dr6j45jk9xcmk.cloudfront.net/documents/2790/guide-bats.pdf

Type of bats: Silverhaired Bat?
No. Mosquito bites: 3

Sunday, August 11, 9pm.

Tonight was the best sightings we’ve had yet. There were at least three bats flying around our back yard at the same time and we watching the magical dance of two bats playing together! The sounds coming out of the Bat Seeker were insane!!! The reason the bats were so active was the mosquitos were really thick tonight. I hope we get a few more nights like this!

Type of bats: Big Brown Bat
No. Mosquito bites: I lost count. They feasted tonight!

Here is a link I’ve created to all of our bat sightings.

Important: Do not handle bats. They can carry the rabies virus. Only those who have been properly vaccinated and have knowledge of bats should be handling them. If you find a bat in your home call a bat rescue. Do not call an exterminator, call a rescue. Bats are important for our environment. I have links below for rescues.

Types of bats in Ontario: https://onnaturemagazine.com/bat-guide.html
High Park Nature Centre: https://www.highparknature.org/wiki/wiki.php?n=Mammals.Bats
Bat rescues: http://www.ontariowildliferescue.ca/wildlifecentres/?care=bat

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