Bats are so misunderstood. While I would rather avoid any contact with bats, I loved watching them fly around the sky during summer evenings. My wife loves bats. Several years ago, she built a bat house, which is attached to the highest point of our house, but to her dismay, we never saw any bats take up residence.

Did you know there is an International Bat Day? Yep, it's April 17th. According to the National Day Calendar, certain types of bats can live up to 40 years, they have an extreme sense of hearing and use echolocation to find food.

Clément Falize on Unsplash

The National Day Calendar also notes that there are over 1200 known species of bats, with 48 found in the United States. Almost 70 percent of bats are insectivores, and unfortunately, almost 40% of American bat species are in severe decline, with some already listed as endangered or threatened.

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Recently, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation noted that bats are currently either migrating from their wintering grounds or emerging from hibernation. Once they come out of hibernation, they are looking to feed and mate.

According to the NYS DEC, this time of year is a sensitive time of year for both hibernating and migratory bats as they are low on energy stores from the winter and will need to build these reserves back up to successfully breed and raise their young.

Photo by Geoff Brooks on Unsplash

So, how can you help? The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation offers the following tips:

  • Plant pollinator gardens to help give bats more foraging area
  •  Build bat boxes to give bats a safe place to roost and raise their young
  •  Donate to a bat conservation organization
  •  Take time to learn more about bats and tell some friends

Learn more about bats by visiting the NYS DEC Bat page.

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