Batty about Bats

Jet Eliot

Canyon Bat formerly known as Western Pipistrelle, Calif. Canyon Bat formerly known as Western Pipistrelle–Calif.

If you haven’t seen any bats yet this season–and it’s summer where you live–I am hoping this post gets you outdoors at dusk or dawn, looking for these marvelous creatures that benefit our earth.

Bats are not only superb pollinators on our planet, but they also eat so many bugs that they are considered an alternative to pesticides.  There are about 1,000 species of bats in the world; they occupy all continents except Antarctica, and live where it is warm.

The most predominate bat at my house is the Canyon Bat, aka the Western Pipistrelle.   The smallest bat in the U.S., it is about 2-3 inches (5-7 cm) long with a wingspan no wider than your hand.  This is a microbat, and it mostly eats insects.  Other bats, like the Flying Foxes in Australia, are bigger; they’re megabats, and generally eat fruit.

The…

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