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bat station recording

So what exactly is this a picture of? Would you believe it is a bat?Actually it is a recording of the high frequency vocalization that a bat used to echo locate as it flew around the bat monitoring station. It is probably the signature of the Eptesicus fuscus, the Big Brown Bat but what is really significant about this is that this vocalization was captured on December 11 th when the outdoor high temperature was -2° C (29° F) and the low was -6° C (22° F). We also captured recording of bats echo-locating on November 24th and December 2nd.

While some species of bats migrate in the fall to warmer climates some bats are year long residents in Wisconsin. Resident bats must hibernate in order to survive, living off fat stores they built up in late summer and fall. Unlike some other hibernators that sleep the entire winter, bats occasionally need to wake up to urinate and to drink. If there is no open water they sometimes lick the snow. They are not known to feed, but that may because there are few flying insects available. It is physiologically very expensive for these bats to fly

A study done in Alberta found that bats will fly when the temperature is above -8° C (Larson and Barclay, 2006). With our new permanent bat detector we will be able to collect data on our bats and determine the lowest temperatures that they are active at.

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Last updated on April 15, 2014