When you think Halloween, you think bats! We always associate bats with scary and getting tangled up in hair, eww! But actually they are really important to our ecology and especially helpful if you live in mosquito invested areas!
Our bat population in the US is in a rapid decline, mostly from the terrible fungus White Nose Syndrome first documented in the winter of 2006-2007. It’s killed more than 7 millions bats in the US and Canada. We were in a cave this last spring and they use to have over a hundred bats winter there, but are down to one lone bat now.
There is a bat sanctuary in Texas, Bat World Sanctuary. It looks like such a cool place! They don’t do tours though as it would agitate the bats too much so they have lots of videos up on their Youtube channel. Be sure and check out the videos of caring for Lil’ Drac a baby orphaned bat, it will warm your heart! They have lots of resources for teachers and fun things for kids to do on the website too.
Watch this video and you’ll never look at bats the same again!
Build a bat house with these free plans.
Here are a couple other fun links for Halloween…
and did you know the ‘jack o lantern‘ originated in Ireland and Scotland using turnips, rutabagas, beets and potatoes as they didn’t have pumpkins? I just learned that! They are the ones who brought the tradition to the US. Carved turnips and rutabagas are much spookier than pumpkins!
Stay safe and leave the lights on!