Happy National Bat Appreciation Day!
I like bats when they are outside. It’s when they are flying around in my house that I have a problem. But I always safely catch them and release them back outside.
I was surprise to find out that Michigan has nine different bat species.
The different bats include:
- Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus)
- Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus)
- Eastern Red Bat (Lasiurus borealis)
- The Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinereus)
- Tri-Colored Bat (Perimyotis subflavus)
- Silvered Haired Bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans)
- Indiana Bat (Myotis solidalis)
- Evening Bat (Nycticeius humeralis)
- Northern Long-Eared Bat (Myotis septentrionalis)
Here in Michigan, the Little Brown Bat or Myotis lucifugus is the most common. The Little Brown Bat is a relatively small mammal with an olive-brownish to dark yellowish brown colored coat. In Latin, the word Myotis means mouse ear which is great for these Little Brown Bats since they do look like they have little mouse ears. I have photographed a few in my time. Even though I know they are only insect eating creatures; I am still cautious when approaching them. I guess I have heard too many urban legends in my time.
According to the Michigan DNR website, “Little brown bats use echolocation to find and capture prey. They emit pulses of high frequency sound (20-130 kHz) that bounce off nearby objects. The bats then use the echoes to determine the object’s distance, size, and shape. They feed primarily on aquatic insects, including mayflies, caddis flies, and stoneflies. They will also feed on other flies, wasps, moths, and beetles to supplement their diet. Typical summer foraging areas include forest edges, along streams and lakes, and sometimes in small cultivated fields. Young little brown bats can eat up to 1.8 grams of insects/night; lactating females can eat up to 3.7 grams of insects/hour due to increased energy demands” (2014). Of course, I wish they would eat more mosquitoes in my area.