bats

Bats and Mosquito Bites!

I love bats! I always have. I have fond memories of playing hide and seek or tag at dusk as a child and gleefully watch them swoop over our heads as they feasted on mosquitos. When the other children screamed in fear that they would get caught in their hair (a myth by the way), I stood mesmerized as I observed their nightly activity with joy!

I was reminded last summer how much I loved bat watching after going to a bat walk at the High Park Nature Centre. We were able to use their bat detectors. During the walk we didn’t have much activity, at least not in the location they took us. Afterwards, Thea (Thea and Adam had joined Zoltan and myself) rented one of the bat detectors and we went for our own walk. A few hundred feet from the Nature Centre is a rink and a pool. They had their very bright lights still on. Around the lights were many insects dancing around and at least a dozen or so bats swooping in for a feast. The bat detector was singing and we were squealing with glee! My passion for bats had awoken again!


Fast forward a few months later and Zoltan and I got married. As part of a wedding gift to us, Thea and Adam gave us a Batseeker Bat detector. Since getting it, I have been itching to use it! Since spring, we have been taking it out with us, but it wasn’t until just recently that we have been getting activity. The hot weather brings out the bugs and the bats!

Recently, we have been going on nightly bat seeking walks every night (when it isn’t raining) and the last few nights there has been a lot of activity! Especially, in my neighbourhood. Our streets are lined with trees and old Victorians with lots of places for bats to roost and feed. We are going to search for bats while we can (until the cool weather sends them hibernating) and I thought what I would do is blog about it. Below is some of last weeks activity. I plan on blogging when we go on our bat adventures.

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.

July 13th — (High Park/approx 10 pm) We went to the skating rink in High Park to see if we could pick anything up. We saw some very high up, but the detector wasn’t getting anything. Because this is a lower end detector, they may have been too high up. On our walk out, amongst the lower hanging trees, we finally heard bats.

Type of bats: Hoary bat? Big Brown Bat?

July 14
— (High Park/The Junction/approx 10 pm) We walked along Glenlake (near High Park Avenue) and immediately picked up activity. It was too dark to see where the bats were flying, but we could tell by the sounds of the detector that they were flying low. We then walked along Pacific Avenue and Medland Avenue and picked up some activity. It wasn’t until we started back down High Park Avenue until we got the most activity. There is a house where I see bats flying around dusk and as we stood near that house the bat detector went wild!

Type of bats: Big Brown Bat (according to the type of sounds we were hearing)

July 15 — (High Park/The Junction/dusk) We started our journey along Glenlake (going west) and up Pine Crest Road. There was a lot of activity and because it was dusk, we could see the bats.

We continued north on Pine Crest Road to Humberside and the High School grounds, then over to Clendenan. There was a lot of activity on the school grounds and the old lawn bowling grounds (on Clendenan). These were much bigger bats. Even as we walked up Clendenan we heard and a saw a much smaller bat (likely a smaller brown bat).

Type of bats: Big Brown Bat (according to the type of sounds we were hearing)

Prior — We have checked out High Park and University of Toronto, but I think it was still to cool those nights. We will be revisiting them.

Links to bat information:

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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Here Birdie Birdie & Tales Of Other Flying Things

Where are my Crows and Ravens? Where are you?

One of the things I look forward to when I visit my parents is seeing the Crows and Ravens. I absolutely love Crows and Ravens. I swear as soon as I show up, they aren’t around. Why? Why do you do this to me? All I want to do is love you. Please come back Crows and Ravens. COME BACK!!!

In the meantime, I will lovingly look at this drawing of two Crows.

crows

All kidding aside, There are two birds that fit with who I am and what people think they see. On the inside, I feel like I am a Raven. I also feel that it is my spirit bird. The Raven is intelligence and is able to learn quickly, using what they learn to figure out solutions to problems, to puzzles.  They are dark and mysterious. ‘The Raven totem signifies mystery and divination, and the attraction to the magical or mystical ways.’  I’m the dark little girl with the crooked smile. I am a Raven.

Others see a Flamingo. Someone who is bright and showy. I am only that way when I really, truly need to be. I am what you might call an extroverted introvert. I love being on a stage and performing, yet being around people close-up and personal has always made me uncomfortable. I was an incredibly shy kid who would rather sit alone and read or draw. I’m ok to perform for those people, I just don’t feel comfortable talking to them. This is why I am so drawn to both of those birds.

flamingos

Of late, I have also become very curious about all birds. With Spring sort of returning, there are many, many different types of birds singing in the trees around us. I’ve been seeing a lot of Cardinals this year. Way more than any other year and it had me thinking that I would love to learn more about the birds that are in my neighbourhood. I want to hear a song from one of them and immediately recognize what kind of bird it is. The High Park Nature Centre down the street does have walkabouts for bird identification and I am considering going on one. They had a fantastic one for Bats.

cardinals

Oh, Bats. Another flying creature I am obsessed with. My ghoul fiends Thea and Adam gave us a Bat Detector for our wedding gift last year and I CANNOT wait to start using it! It is finally warming up enough that the Bats will be out feeding. Nightly walks will be becoming a popular end to the day.

bats

Now off to find my Crows and Ravens.