Bats and Halloween – we love them both right? Or do we…? It’s almost here, Halloween, that time of year when it’s pretty hard to avoid pumpkins, vampires, trick or treating… and scary bats. Bats are synonymous with all the other scary vibes of Halloween and I don’t think bats deserve this reputation. The thing is, bats are not pretty. Nope, those little faces are quite ugly, but do bats live up to that scary look on their faces? Not at all.
There are lots of bats here in Ireland, in fact we have them here at Hunters Lodge and welcome them. They are actually tiny little creatures and and we love to see them flying around after dark. One of the most common bats in Ireland is the Pipistrelle and it’s likely if you see a bat, it’s a Pipistrelle. So how about some bat facts…..
- These tiny creatures weigh between 5g and 12g – they’re tiny!
- Female bats have one baby per year – usually in June.
- Baby bats are called pups. They are born blind but open their eyes after a couple of days. They are also born with no fur but get their coat of fur within a week of being born.
- Babies are fed with their mothers milk making bats some of the smallest mammals we have.
- Bats catch insects in the dark using sound. They emit a high pitched squeak and listen for echos. This is called echolocation.
- There are nine species of bats in Ireland including the whiskered bat, the brown long-eared bat and lesser horseshoe bat.
If you would like to encourage bats to take up residence in your garden, there are lots of ways you can encourage them. Our bats roost in an old coal shed but you can also buy (or maybe build) a bat box and they are not expensive. Add plants to your garden that encourage night flying insects and have a water source that the bats can use. I would recommend having a look at the Bat Conservation Ireland website also- it is a great source of bat information.
I love seeing bats flying around here at night. They seem to appear around the time the hedgehogs come out for a stroll. So as the chickens settle down for the night, the night crew come out to play! Nature is truly wonderful. And so are bats. Forget about those gigantic .’bats’ in movies and comics and remember that these nocturnal creatures are teensy and absolutely do NOT get caught in your hair! Bats can eat thousands of insects in one night and don’t spread disease. There is so much to love about bats so please don’t just think of them at Halloween. Let’s enjoy and appreciate them all year round.
Be safe this Halloween -enjoy your pumpkins and trick or treating (but please do keep away from bonfires and fireworks). And look out for bats in your area.
What Freddy Buttons book are you reading at the moment? This week the most popular book is
Freddy Buttons and the Apple Bandits. We think it’s because there are so many apples on the apple trees right now!