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     The Bat-Story - Two Stories + Bat Information

The Bat

By William Sawyers

 

On a nice sunny day on October 25th, 2007 at about 1:45pm,

I had a student from room 25, that came to my custodian room and requested that I get a bat out of their class room.

I thought they meant a baseball bat, maybe up high on their closets. As I proceeded to walk to the class. The student told me, "You need a Net!" As it's a real bat flying around.

I walked quickly back to my office and grabbed a make-shift net made for netting other type of birds, that was connected to a 6 foot pole made of PVC pipe. I approached Mrs. Wallis class stood out side the room. "Here's Bill to get the Bat," they excitedly exclaimed. I entered the classroom and I seen this bat flying and darting around the room. I got a little excited too. I'd caught many birds in the classrooms-But, including 10 sparrows, a morning Dove, and a Swallow tail, but never a Bat!

I walked around the room cautiously trying to catch the bat in my net because I didn't want to hurt it. About 10 minutes passed before I finally Swooped the net over the bat in mid-air, and then lowered the net to the floor. I asked the teacher to send one of the students to my office for a blue bucket and a piece of cardboard for a cover.

It seemed like 15 minutes to wait for the bucket and the piece of cardboard, but it was only about 2 minutes.

I then gently placed the cardboard under the net a raised the bat to the bucket, then I dropped it in very carefully. It was making a very neat sound, and yes it had very sharp teeth. I was walking it back to my office a lot of children was following me back- requesting they get to touch it, I had to tell them NO! I didn't want anyone to get bit.

When I got to my office I had to shut my office door. to keep out the students. I seen a teacher from the after school program and asked for a pair of thick gloves?

I had no Idea why this night creature was flying around in the day time? Then I was thinking of rabies or something else bad. I then raced home to grab my camera as to take pictures of it.

By then Leanne from the after school program lent me a pair of thick gloves. I then went into my office and put on the gloves to take pictures. Yes, my heart was then pounding, what if it escaped from the net or the bucket? Would it bite me?

By this time the children where getting out of school gathering around out side of my door getting all excited and knocking on my door for a quick look. I ignored them. I had to leave the card board over the bucket and placed some thing on top as it wouldn't escape. I then went around doing my daily routines of emptying trash and taking back the lunch buckets back to the classrooms left from the students at lunch time. When I was finished at 2:55pm

I took the bucket with the bat and card board and loaded it into my truck. I then raced home to check in with my daughter Amanda. She was just coming home then from her school, she's now 14 years old. I asked her if she wanted to go with me to the Lindsey Museum in Walnut Creek. She said yes. I drove to the next town, Walnut Creek, Ca. to the Lindsey Museum. We took the bucket with the bat and entered thru the doors of the Lindsey building. My daughter rang the bell for service. I had a lady came out and asked what we had. A bat I said. I had to fill out some forms as to where I got it and my phone number and my address, they took the bat into a little room in the back to do an exam of it. While we were waiting I made a $20.00 donation. It all helps out.

They returned after awhile telling me it was a Mexican free tail bat. It diet consist of mainly mosquito's. And it has a flight of about 50 miles a night looking for them. They gave me a card with a number on it and told me to call in about 4 days to see how it's doing.

 

Four day's later I called and it was doing fine, no rabies. They said it might have been poisoned a little do to the fact some cities where spraying for mosquito's. And it might have consumed a few tainted ones and got disoriented and confused. They also mentioned it was going to be released soon. I requested that I go with them to release it with them? Then I could get more pictures as that would be cool. Then they said sorry they couldn't let me go with them. Oh-well, at least this turned out to be a good ending. A day latter after work I got on the internet and looked up this Mexican free tailed bat and got information about, then printed it out and put on the teachers desk, the next day the teacher shared with her class. Pictures can be seen on Bills photos on this site photo gallery. Click below

Warning!!!  Do not attempt to catch any bat, dead or alive! They do have teeth..  I use very thick gloves with a vinyl glove as extra security, and I clean every thing I use very well after wards.

 Lindsay Wildlife Museum

 

The End

 This is the Bat I caught

 See new story below after Bat Facts

 

Spotlight on Bats
Mysterious Mammals on the Fly
 
 Bats may be the most misunderstood animals in the United States. Almost all U.S. bats, and 70 percent of the bat species worldwide, feed almost exclusively on insects and are thus extremely beneficial. One bat can eat between 600 and 1,000 mosquitoes and other insect pests in just one hour.

Bats in other parts of the world feed on a variety of items in addition to insects. Many species feed primarily on fruit, while several types feed on nectar and pollen. Fruit bats perform an extremely important function as seed dispersers. Nectar-eating bats are important pollinators. Many plant species depend almost entirely on bats for pollination.

Of the 45 species of bats found in the continental United States, six are listed as endangered. These species are the gray bat, Indiana bat, Ozark big-eared bat, Virginia big-eared bat, lesser long-nosed bat, and greater Mexican long-nosed bat.
bat icon


Myths and Misconceptions


"All Bats Have Rabies."
Less than ½ of 1% of bats carry the rabies virus. In addition, rabid bats are seldom aggressive. Fewer than 40 people in the United States are known to have contracted rabies from bats during the past 40 years.

"Bats get tangled in people's hair."
Although bats may occasionally fly very close to someone's face while catching insects, they do not get stuck in people's hair. That's because the bat's ability to echolocate is so acute that it can avoid obstacles no wider than a piece of thread.

"Bats suck your blood."
By far the most famous bats are the vampire bats. These amazing creatures are found in Mexico, Central America and South America. Vampire bats feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals such as birds, horses and cattle. They do not suck blood. The bats obtain blood by making a small cut in the skin of a sleeping animal with their razor-sharp teeth and then lapping up the blood as it flows from the wound. The bat's saliva contains an anesthetic that reduces the likelihood of the animal feeling the prick. Each bat requires only about two tablespoons of blood every day, so the loss of blood to a prey animal is small and rarely causes any harm.

"Bats are blind."
Although they can't see color, bats can see better than we do at night. And, many bats can also "see" in the dark by using echolocation.

Bat Biology

Bats, like humans, are mammals, having hair and giving birth to living young and feeding them on milk from mammary glands. More than 900 species of bats occur worldwide; they are most abundant in the tropics.


ECHOLOCATION
Although bats have relatively good eyesight, most depend on their superbly developed echolocation (or sonar) system to navigate and capture insects in the dark. Bats emit pulses of very high-frequency sound (inaudible to human ears) at a rate of a few to 200 per second.
By listening to the echoes reflected back to them, they can discern objects in their path. Their echolocation ability is so acute they can avoid obstacles no wider than a piece of thread and capture tiny flying insects even in complete darkness.



Worldwide, bats vary in size from only slightly over two grams (0.07 ounce—about the weight of a dime) to more than 1.5 kilograms (more than 3 pounds). The large "flying foxes" of Africa, Asia, Australia, and many Pacific islands may have a wingspan up to two meters (6 feet). United States bats vary in size from less than three grams (0.11 ounce) to 70 grams (2.5 ounces). The largest United States bat, the greater mastiff bat occurring from central California south into Mexico, has a wingspan of approximately 55 centimeters (22 inches).

Bats are the only true flying mammals. Bats belong to the mammalian order Chiroptera, which means "hand-wing." The bones in a bat's wing are the same as those of the human arm and hand, but bat finger bones are greatly elongated and connected by a double membrane of skin to form the wing.

Bats primarily are nocturnal, although many fly early in the evening, sometime before sunset. Occasionally, especially on warm winter days, they are observed flying during daylight hours.

Reproduction and Longevity

Most female bats produce only one offspring per year, although some species give birth to three or four babies at a time. The gestation period (pregnancy) lasts only a few weeks. U.S. baby bats are born in May or June. They develop rapidly, and most can learn to fly within two to five weeks after birth. Bats live relatively long lives for animals of their small size, some as long as 30 years.

Feeding

Insect-eating bats may either capture flying insects in their mouths or scoop them into their tail or wing membranes. They then reach down and take the insect into their mouth. This results in the erratic flight most people are familiar with when they observe bats flying around in the late evening or around lights at night. Bats drink by skimming close to the surface of a body of water and gulping an occasional mouthful.

Hibernation and Migration

Because insects are not available as food during winter, temperate-zone bats survive by either migrating to warmer regions where insects are available, or by hibernating.

Several bat species hibernate in dense clusters on cave walls or ceilings. Clusters may consist of hundreds of bats per square foot. Most U.S. cave bats spend winter hibernating in caves (or mines) and move to trees or buildings during summer. A few species reside in caves year-round, although they usually use different caves in summer than winter. Most cave bats return year after year to the same caves.

Tree bats seldom enter caves. They roost in trees during summer days and spend winter primarily in hollow trees. Several species make long migration flights. The millions of Brazilian (or Mexican) free-tailed bats that spend the summer in southwestern U.S. caves migrate up to 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) to and from their winter caves.
 
 

        Batty The Bat

Today is January 8th, 

another cold day at my school here in Walnut Creek, Ca. we’ll not as cold as it has been in recent days. 

40 degrees in the morning and a high of 62.. As another day goes by , I was going around my school and unlocking all the gate’s on the perimeter to let parents come on in to pick up there children. I was walking by one of our buildings E-2 . I noticed some of our staff standing nearby looking up at the ceiling. I asked what’s so interesting? They said. Where looking at the cute little bat. I took a closer look and mentioned to them I could get and take to the Lindsey museum? One of them said no, just wait for tonight it might fly away. If not take it.

So the next Morning at about 6:30am I went and looked to see if it was still there? It was.

I went around and did my things that needed to be done, cleaning and turning on the lights in the pods. Then I grabbed my buttery fly net, and borrowed two glove’s from a teacher who uses them for the kiln. There very thick! A half inch at least and leather. I also took a flash light and vinyl gloves for a little extra protection. As bats can carry a variety of bacteria.

I put the net around the bat and slowly lowered it along the out side wall, it made a high pitch squeal. To me it was saying I’m alive cold and mad - leave me alone!!!  

I then put it in my clear container and put in my office. I checked on regularly. It was getting more active as it was getting warmer. After work I took to the Lindsey museum in Walnut Creek, Ca, I answered a lot of questions, and made my $20.00 donation. I’m sure it cost more than this over a 1 week span. As this place is caring for the animals 24/7/

I found out this bat is a California Myotis, Now! What kind of a name of a bat is this, I’m calling it Baty. It was out later than it should have been, got very cold do to weather and stuck to one place to hibernate. But weather to dip below freezing, in my opinion the wrong spot. Any way I’ll find out very soon if I did right. As they gave me a # to call in after 4 days to see if it has any problems besides being Cold...

The End, William Sawyers

As of 1/13/15 Batty has been given to a bat Specialist, and I'll need to call this Friday the 16th.

Great news 1/16/15 The Lindsey museum has given batty a clean bill of health, and He's going home tonight. Another fantastic feeling of helping out in our community.

 

  Don't touch me!!!