Celebrating Bat Week With Amazing Colorado Bat Facts
It's the Halloween season so it seems appropriate that we would be celebrating bat week October 24-31.
Bats are connected to Halloween for many reasons. They are dark in color, the like the dark, they feed at night, and, of course, there's the legend of Dracula and the Caped Crusader. And, let's just be honest here. Plenty of us think bats are flat-out creepy.
But, regardless of what you think about bats, the fact is, they are pretty amazing animals - creepy-but amazing.
For example, did you know that bats are great mothers? After a night out feeding, they can return to the cave and find their babies among thousands of others. Apparently all bats don't look exactly the same to other bats. And when a mother bat is changing locations, they'll fly off with baby bat hanging on.
During the cold winter months, many species of bats will migrate thousands of miles to a warmer climate. ( something I would love to do) I wonder if they ever get tired of flapping their wings?
Other bats simply find a nice damp, dark cave and hibernate until spring, which makes it unlikely you'll see a bat while you're trick-or-treating Halloween night. However, bats sometimes leave hibernation for brief periods. It's probably like getting up in the middle of the night, stumbling through the dark on a trip to the bathroom. Then, it's right back to sleep.
Colorado is home to 18 bat species, 13, of which, are the hibernating variety. Most of Colorado's bat colonies are small - fewer than 100. However, in the San Luis Valley there is a colony of about 250,000 Brazilian Free-Tailed Bats.
As you know, bats are famous for feasting on insects, like those pesky mosquitoes that feed on human blood. Bats also devour insects that are harmful to crops and plants. It's estimated that bats save farmers billions of dollars each year.
Here is a word of caution.I'm not sure why anyone would want to anyway, but you should never ever handle a bat - dead or alive. Rabies is always a threat when it comes to bats.
I'm not a big fan of bats. I don't want to see one, hear one, or touch one. However, I do recognize their importance and their value to the Colorado ecosystem. I may not be celebrating bat week, but every time I see a bat during the Halloween season whether it be fake or real, I may have a new appreciation for bats and may look at them in a new light.