Brilliant bats: batty facts

May 2011

Bat

No doubt many of us have had a profound respect for bats since that fabulous front page on the local Press, ‘Bats scupper York big wheel plan’, with an inset picture of a bat that made it look huge and fierce and almost as big as the proposed wheel itself.

I’ve noticed them above our garden in the past, and the first bat spotted this year was darting about one Sunday evening a few weeks back, at dusk, after one of those warm sunny days we’ve had so many of recently. I told it to gather its bat friends together and head off to the Museum Gardens, to be surveyed.

Tonight I thought I saw bats around the floodlights at Bootham Crescent. Which led to a bit of Googling – and a bit longer disentangling the various bits of misinformation – and these illuminating bat facts:

– ‘I can hear bats’ – the general view promoted on many web pages is that we can’t. I can, and I always thought everyone could. But apparently not. ‘Some lucky individuals (usually young people) can hear quite high frequencies, and are able to pick up a very small part of the bats range without equipment.’ I like that ‘young’ bit …

– Impact of lighting – it can disturb bats if near to roosts, and some species avoid it, but other species are attracted to bright lighting, including floodlights, following the moths etc already attracted to the light.

Anyway, the bat survey is perhaps underway now down at the hutments. Followed perhaps by more batty plans …

More bat info

Some people don’t just listen to them, but talk back: ‘I am sure all neighbours who saw that thought I was totally mad or a witch or something’ – kiteeze, on Are there some types of bat that make a noise that humans can hear?

Impact of lighting on bats

Bats and lighting in the UK – Bats and the built environment series – from the Bat Conservation Trust

Look out for bats – Bat Conservation Trust

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