bat

Bat Adventures – Research and Science!

This week in bat adventures… we didn’t actually make it out for any, well, bat adventures. However, I went down a bit of a rabbit hole on bat researchers and wanted to share what I found! I also threw in some books you might find interesting.

Famous bat researchers:

If you are anything like me and my love of bats, you will also want to know about famous bat researchers. There are many out there, all over the world, who continue until this day, to educate themselves and others about the magical flying creature.

Below is a short list of some researchers you should know about. Because of them, we know more about bats than ever before. Seriously, read up about them, you will learn many new things about bats!

Dr. Brock FentonProfessor Emeritus, Department of Biology, Western University and Dr. Bonnie Schmidt, Founder and CEO, Let’s Talk Science, will deliver our invited lectures at OBD 2019. {source Western Science} https://www.uwo.ca/biology/directory/emeritus/fenton.html

Gerrit S. Miller JR. (December 6, 1869 – February 24, 1956) was an outstanding early twentieth century bat biologist at the Smithsonian Institution. Miller’s work on the evolutionary relationships of chiropteran families and genera to one another still strongly influences taxonomic thinking about bats today. {source North American Society for Bat Research – https://www.nasbr.org/miller}

Thomas H. Kunz (June 11, 1938 – April 13, 2020) was an American biologist specializing in the study of bats. He was credited with coining the study of aeroecology; additionally, he wrote several fundamental textbooks and publications on bat ecology. {source Wikipedia} https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Kunz

Donald Redfield Griffin (August 3, 1915 – November 7, 2003) was an American professor of zoology at various universities who conducted seminal research in animal behavior, animal navigation, acoustic orientation and sensory biophysics. In 1938, while an undergraduate at Harvard University, he began studying the navigational method of bats, which he identified as animal echolocation in 1944. In The Question of Animal Awareness (1976), he argued that animals are conscious like humans. Griffin was the originator of the concept of mentophobia: the denial of the consciousness of other animals by scientists. {source Wikipedia} https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Griffin

Books about bats:

The Families and Genera of Bats, by Gerrit S. Miller, Jr. https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/bibliography/16306

The Bat Scientists by Mary Kay Carson https://sciencemeetsadventure.com/the-bat-scientists/index.html

Each time I post, I am going to also suggest music that goes with bat adventures! Today I’m suggesting

Bats: A World of Science and Mystery by M. Brock Fenton, Nancy B. Simmons https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/bats-a-world-of-science/9780226065120-item.html

Type of bats: N/A
No. Mosquito bites: 0

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

Bat Adventures Are Back!

And we’re bat! {see what I did there?} That’s right! Batastic!

We went on our first official Bat Adventure on Sunday, May 23rd, but due to the amount of fire works there wasn’t any action. My heart breaks for all animals when the fireworks go off. I’ve never liked fireworks and in my opinion they should be banned. 😦

As with every bat adventure blog post, I will be posting with the dates that we were out and I will be adding sightings to the map (link below). Once it is safe to do so, I am hoping to bring friends along. I will do weekly posts that will run from Monday (posting the previous week on the Monday) to Sunday and will be starting my regular posts next week.

May 25th, 2021

We’ve got bat action!!!

We went out for our second night of bat adventures and saw some of those flying beauties tonight. Last night we didn’t see anything, but that was due to the firecrackers.

There was a lot of action near Ravina Park and in the field beside Humberside Colligate. Hearing the chirping noises on my bat detector made me incredibly happy.

May 26 to May 29th – I won’t be able to go on any bat adventures. If we end up going out Sunday night, I will add it to next weeks adventures.

Each time I post, I am going to also suggest music that goes with bat adventures! Today I’m suggesting:

Everything that Theadora Feu Follet does on her theremin! She is the spookiest of them all afterall. You can follow her on YouTube (video below) and on IG at Thea Munster, and her band Night Chill. She is also on TikTok as Thea Triffid. Thea has inspired me to learn the Theremin, I just need to save up to buy one. Unless, someone wants to gift me one. My birthday is coming soon!

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

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

International Goth Day, Bats and a Little Bit More

Happy International Goth Day!

If you met me on the street today, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you I was Goth. All dressed in a plaid chambray gauze fit and flare dress, hair in a high ponytail, I’m more of a vision of a hot summer day in 1950. Even for those who question if I am, I will always be Goth. The clothing may change, but what I feel in my my dark heart, never will.

Not everyone continues to dress Goth their entire lives. Many of us transition to more of a vintage look, with some Goth thrown in. My Gothy wardrobe will start reappearing when Fall hits. It happens, we grow, change and try out other things. Don’t be afraid to explore what amazements are out there!

I’ve tried to find some pictures of me as a Goth, but I’m so Goth… I can’t find any. Maybe, like a vampire, I don’t show up on film. Here is a picture of a bat instead.

So…. where have I been? Didn’t I say I would restart blogging again at the beginning of May. Yes, yes, I did. I just wasn’t feeling it. I have been writing/editing the required changes to my novel, so creativity has been happening, I just haven’t wanted to blog. Additionally, I think Covid fatigue has sucked away some of that desire to put my thoughts down onto a screen. I’m getting back around to it, especially now that it’s warm enough again to go on Bat Adventures.

We are so close to being on the other side of this pandemic. I’m really hoping that people co-operate and follow the restrictions this long weekend. I would be heart-broken if a post Victoria Day long weekend caused a surge sending us two steps or how it really feels, two miles back. We hit 60% 1st vaccination and 190K doses given yesterday for Ontario and the numbers on steadily dropping for new cases and hospitalization. I keeping hoping that this continues!

And yes… Bat Adventures begin again now! I’ve got fresh batteries in the bat detector and we will be doing some nightly walks starting this weekend!

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

Bat Adventures Myths and Conspiracies True or False

There are sooooo many false facts about bats out there. Too many in fact. I thought I would post some of the main ones here. I have also included links to articles with even more information. Please take time to read and enjoy them!

Bat will fly into your hair FALSE! Bats use echolocation to get around. This prevents them from flying into things.

Bats are good for the environment and the ecosystem! TRUE! The bat population helps to control flying pests such as mosquitoes.

Bats turn into vampires! FALSE! This is a thing of fiction. Movies such as Dracula helped to fuel this myth.

Bats are flying mammals. TRUE! Not only are they mammals and I’m sure not everyone will agree with me, but I think they are adorable!

All bats carry rabies. FALSE Yes, bats can carry rabies and if you are bitten, scratched or come into contact with a bat you need to get a rabies shot. However, not all bats are carriers. Still, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

They are blind. FALSE! Bats use echolocation to navigate and find food, but they can also see and have well developed eyes.

Bats are bad luck! FALSE! In fact, I personally think, if you see one, you are truly lucky!

Type of bats: Large Brown bats
No. Mosquito bites: 0

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

Bat Adventures and Bats in Art

How many bats does it take to make me happy? All of the bats! All. Of. The. Bats! Yes, I’m a bit batty. See what I did there… Right… Back to bats. I’ve been thinking a lot about bats from more a creative view. We see them in movies, songs and on t-shirts. Their imagery is everywhere, but, what about bats in historical pieces of art or art in general. Cats, dogs, birds and insects show up all of the time in art, but, do bats? They sure do!

Japan Bat appear in a lot of Japanese art. The images can be both terrifying and humorous.

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, Bats and Umbrellas, 1882

Utagawa Hiroshige – Bats, Japan, 1840-1850

There are thousands of vintage bat illustrations. I use them all of the time in my bat posts. They are my absolute favourite!

Ariel on a Bat That’s right, bats also appear in religious art, medieval art and art of all of the ages!

If you want to read more about bats in art, I have included a few links below to amazing articles on that subject!

http://blog.healthywildlife.ca/a-short-history-of-bats-in-art/

https://www.leidenartsinsocietyblog.nl/articles/from-bad-to-good-looking-at-the-bat-in-art-and-natural-history

https://www.1st-art-gallery.com/Animals/Wild-Animals/Bats.html

https://hyperallergic.com/406164/why-chinese-art-is-swarming-with-colonies-of-tiny-bats/

https://blog.nationalgeographic.org/2008/12/09/ancient-australian-rock-art-depicts-unknown-bats/

Each time I post, I am going to also suggest music that goes with bat adventures! Today I’m suggesting Shook Boys!

Type of bats: Big Brown Bats
No. Mosquito bites: 0 (not sure how I’ve made it this far without getting bit, the bats are doing their work!)

A side note. Since May long weekend it has been non stop fireworks every, single night. Then Canada Day and now the fireworks are even crazier every night. Fireworks not only affect pets, please remember is scares the wildlife as well! I haven’t seen as many bats in our hood and I attribute it to all of the loud noises. Please stop!

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

Bat Adventures and What Bats Eat

Did you know that bats eat their own weight in food everyday? If humans did that… oh boy! Bats need to eat so much food to accumulate fat reserves of up to one third of its body weight before hibernation. So it’s important that you let them eat.

Bats provide humans with many benefits. Bat dung has been mined as guano from caves and used as fertilizer. Bats consume insect pests, reducing the need for pesticides. And in the summertime, the less mosquitos the better! They are important in their own and our ecosystems because they pollinate flowers and dispersing seeds; many tropical plants depend entirely on bats for these services. (source Wikipedia)

Wikipedia has a really great write up with a good breakdown of what types of food different species of bats require. If you want a quicker read on what they eat, here is a nice short article. Basically, different bats eat different things, some eat mainly fruit/fruit nectar, while others depend on bugs.

If you’d prefer to watch a video on the subject, this is a great video!

For those Toronto readers, once High Park Nature Centre is open again, I highly recommend you go on one of their bat walks. They provide amazing information. In the meantime, here is an article on what Toronto bats eat!

Each time I post, I am going to also suggest music that goes with bat adventures! With the summer weather literally heating up, we need some surf music and today I’m suggesting The Surfragettes.

Type of bats: Large brown bat
No. Mosquito bites: 0

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

Bat Adventures and the Songs About Them!

If bats had a theme song what would it be? Bat out of Hell? Bat Country? Bats in the Belfry? There are so, so many choices. I guess the theme song might depend on the bat. Would a fruit bat like a lighter, happier song or a vampire bat might like something dark and spooky and a large gray bat, maybe something a little more goth? Given a choice, what would their theme songs be?

One of the most well known bat songs is Bat Out Of Hell by Meatloaf. There are hundreds more. Bats also turn up in children’s songs and poetry. Maybe poetry will be another post.

What is your favourite bat song?

Here are some links to lists of bat songs, incase you want to give a listen.

https://www.ranker.com/list/the-best-songs-with-bat-in-the-title/ranker-music

http://www.canteach.ca/elementary/songspoems96.html

Lyrics that contain the word bat! https://www.lyrics.com/lyrics/BAT

Each time I post, I am going to also suggest music that goes with bat adventures! Today I’m suggesting Toronto’s National Velvet’s Flesh Under Skin.

Type of bats: Large Grey Bats
No. Mosquito bites: 0

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

Bat Adventures and Bat Detectors

Since I have started writing about bats, I have mentioned often about my bat detector. I’ve had a few inquiries about what the heck it is. As as wedding gift in 2018 good friends of ours and fellow ghouls gave us a bat detector. We all became really interested in them after using one for the bat walk put on by High Park Nature Centre. Since receiving one as a gift my husband and I have been on many of our own bat walks.

I guess I should explain a bit more about bat detectors, what they are and what they can do.

bat detector is a device used to detect the presence of bats by converting their echolocation ultrasound signals, as they are emitted by the bats, to audible frequencies, usually about 120 Hz to 15 kHz. There are other types of detectors which record bat calls so that they can be analysed afterward, but these are more commonly referred to by their particular function.

Bats emit calls from about 12 kHz to 160 kHz, but the upper frequencies in this range are rapidly absorbed in air. Many bat detectors are limited to around 15 kHz to 125 kHz at best. Bat detectors are available commercially and also can be self-built. (source Wikipedia) To learn more check out the full article over on Wikipedia.

This article has a clip on what it sounds like when you hear a bat on your detector. After time, you can actually recognize bat types as well as tell when there is one or more flying by. https://naturecanada.ca/tag/bat-detectors/

The model I have is the Bat Seeker 4. It looks like below. Sure I’d love a higher end detector, but this one works great!

If you are looking for something a bit more higher end, that has more bells and whistles and can possibly record the bat sounds, please check out The Bat Detectors Buying Guide. They are quite a bit more expensive than the Bat Seeker (which runs at about $45) and if you are just starting out, the more advanced versions may be confusing for you. I strongly suggest you start out with something more basic.

Do you plan on buying a bat detector and go on your own bat adventures?

Each time I post, I am going to also suggest music that goes with bat adventures! Today I’m suggesting The Gnarly Ones and the song Night Rider. They are a Toronto Surf band that I just discovered! I hope they are still performing once we are out of Covid Jail! https://thegnarlyonessurf.bandcamp.com/track/night-rider

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

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

Bat Adventures And How To Help Them

As we walk around our neighbourhood the bat detector goes off often. We live in a part of the city with an abundance of old Victorians and trees. Any neighbourhood in the city will have bats feeding at dusk and later in the evening. You just need to be paying attention. If you want a lot of bat action head to a large park. My two favourites in the west end are High Park and Humber River, however, Toronto boasts of many large and glorious parks.

Bats are an important part of our ecosystem as well as they help to keep the mosquito population down. I am personally someone who has a bad reaction to mosquito bites and the less of them the better. Sadly, as our city grows, more and more development happens, which means lots of wildlife and being kicked out of their homes and that includes bats. Bat Houses are an amazing way to help out bat habitats. You can buy the ready made or if you want to make your own, check out the following link.

http://www.batcon.org/resources/getting-involved/bat-houses

Neighbourhood Bat Watch provides a really great breakdown of what to do when setting up a bat house. Click here to read the blog post.

Each time I post, I am going to also suggest music that goes with bat adventures! Today I’m suggesting the Night Chill song Creepy’s Bite!

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

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

Bat Adventures Bela Lugosi

Now that the weather is warmer and getting more humid, that means there will be a lot more bugs flying around at night! That also means MORE BATS! On hot and humid night, if you are out around dusk, please look up, you will be able to see bats without the aid of a bat detector. They are awake and feeding! As mentioned in previous posts, bats need to eat their own body weight in bugs every day when they are active and dusk is a prime bug feasting time! If you want to know where the most bugs are, look up at the street lights when they come on!

If you go out to observe bats, do you have a bat detector? Are you just doing it visually? Where do you go?

Bela! Bela! Bela! How do I love thee! Let me count the bats!

Since I was a child I was mesmerized by Bela Lugosi. There was something about this mysterious man and that voice! I find his presence soothing rather than creepy. For most you either know him for his 1931 roll as Dracula or from Ed Wood Jr’s Plan 9 From Outer Space. There is so much more to Bela than just those movies.

How was I introduced to Bela? It wasn’t either of those movies. The very first movie I saw him in was White Zombie, then Mark of the Vampire, The Gorilla and The Devil Bat. These movies played often on which ever one of the four channels we had. Possibly even on Saturday Night At The Movies with Elwy Yost. That’s right, we had four channels until I was sixteen (that’s when we got cable) and I’m old enough to have watched Elwy Yost. I miss Elwy Yost!

Long before Bela Lugosi became type cast, he was a silent film and theatre star! He also had a very interesting life, I highly recommend you do some reading up on him, you won’t regret it. Wikipedia has the condensed version, but you really need to read some actual biographies on him! One I can highly recommend is Bela Lugosi in person.

If you are up for a Bela Lugosi movie marathon, here are my top ten favourite movies! Some are even free on YouTube! (in order of year) If you want to pick your own movies, the list on Wikipedia is very thorough, do not look at the list on IMDB, it’s missing way too many gems. (below are either trailers or full movies)

Dracula (1931)

White Zombie (1932)

Mark of the Vampire (1935)

The Mystery of the Mary Celeste (1935) (released in the USA as Phantom Ship

The Gorilla (1939)

The Devil Bat (1940)

The Corpse Vanishes (1942)

The Ape Man (1943)

Bride of the Monster (1955)

Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959)

Each time I post, I am going to also suggest music that goes with bat adventures! Today I’m suggesting Christian D. He is not only one of my favourite Toronto musicians, he does a killer cover of Bela Lugosi Is Dead. Please go buy his music and help out our musicians. They need it now more than ever. https://christiand.bandcamp.com/album/bela-lugosis-dead

Type of bats: Large Brown Bats
No. Mosquito bites: 0

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