My Wifes Close Encounter with Bats

Mark Gordon BrownStarred Page By Mark Gordon Brown, 15th Jul 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Nature>Mammals

Just the other day my wife was expecting to meet some people to sell one of our hair sheep lambs... little did she know she would encounter several dozen bats.

It's Raining Bats

My wife was meeting people to sell one of our lambs, she had the lambs penned and the people had selected the one they wanted to use as a breeding ram for their ewes. She was going to bring the sheep into the barn so they could sort him out for loading into their vehicle. We have a sliding door on the front of the barn and this is normally left open in the summer as we rarely use the barn except during the winter. However, when she started to slide the door open, out fell several squealing, night fliers known as bats.

Even the sheep people were interested, wanting to take pictures of the mass of squirming fallen critters. The bats lay helpless for a moment trying to figure out what happened and warm up to the point of being able to move. Some had babies clinging to their undersides. My wife too ran to get her camera but unfortunately most of the pictures were too blurry to use. These pictures were taken after many of the bats had already crawled to shelter.

Bat Rescue

My wife is very sympathetic to the plight of critters, so the bats welfare was her concern and of course she felt guilty for knocking them out of their save sleeping spot, so as soon as the sheep people were gone she went about her way to help the bats. I should also add that my wife had worked at an animal shelter and has been vaccinated for rabies, but was also sure that these bats were not acting abnormally giving any sign of being rabid. She used a towel to move the ones that had fallen a great distance back towards the barn.

Some of the bats had some sort of parasite on them, the sheep people thought it was ticks, but ticks embed their heads into an animal and these were crawling on them freely. True to her nature my wife helped the little bats by removing these parasites (lice?), and killing them for which I am sure she felt bad.

Safe at Last

After a while all the bats managed to return to their spot behind the barn door. The only evidence of them is the pile of bat waste, guano, that is on the ground.

Seeing all these bats is a good sign. In previous years we had only a few bats behind the door, and last year was a drought. Last year the bats had taken to living behind an unused basketball net on the garage. Towards the end of summer we often found dead bats that had died from starvation and fallen. The drought meant there were not enough insects for them to feed, being as normally a bat can eat over 800 mosquitoes in an hour. This year we have had a lot of rain, which while it brings the mosquitoes, can make it hard for the bats too, as they do not like to fly around when its raining and typically insects are not flying around in the rain either.

Links

More Information on Bats

The Advantages of Hair Sheep

Things you Should Have when Living in the Country

Why Everyone should Keep Pet Chickens

Tags

Animals, Barn, Bat, Bats, Finding, Mammals, Mosquitoes, Rabies, Rabit, Wild, Wildlife

Meet the author

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
Raised in Michigan, I have a son who recently joined the Military. I am living in Canada with my wife where we have a hobby farm.

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