If you’ve been following the Adirondack Bats series then you know a little more about bats and why they are nothing to be afraid of. Though of course wild bats should not be handled!
Now let’s get a little more familiar with the particular bats that are our neighbors in the Adirondacks. So, which out of the hundreds of bat species in the world do populate the Adirondacks?
According to the New York Department of Conservation only nine species of bats make their homes in our state. Of these bat species that live throughout New York, they are divided into two types: cave bats and tree bats.
Cave bats “spend the winter hibernating in caves and mines where they live off stored fat reserves. However, during the summer they live in a variety of places, including bridges, buildings, rock crevices, beneath loose bark, or in cracks or crevices in trees. Cave bats are identified by the lack of fur on their tail membranes and their rather plain brownish coloring.” (NYDEC)
New York’s Cave Bats:
- Northern Bat (Myotis septentrionalis)
- Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus)
- Indiana Bat (Myotis sodalis)
- Eastern Pipistrelle aka Tri-colored Bat (Perimyotis subflavus)
- Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus)
- Small-footed Bat (Myotis leibii) [NY's smallest bat pictured above!]
Tree bats are migratory and, like their name implies, live year round in trees. Instead of hibernating they fly south in winter to warmer temperatures.
These bats are more colorful than the generally brown cave bats, and they have “fully furred tail membranes which they can curl up around their bodies like a blanket” (NYDEC).
These species are harder to study because tree bats do not typically enter caves or mines or form large colonies, so we know less about them (NYDEC).
New York’s Tree Bats:
- Red Bat (Lasiurus borealis)
- Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinereus) [NY's largest bat pictured above!]
- Silver-haired Bat (Lasyionicterius noctivagans)
Below is a video of New York’s most common bat: the Little Brown Bat!
I’m pretty sure that this is the type of bat that I see around my house in the summer. Several of them live in our old chimney. Of course I only see them at night, and they fly pretty fast, so I’ve never gotten a good look.
I definitely haven’t seen any of the more exotic looking New York bat species though…Click through the bats in the listings above to check them all out for yourself!
Though I have had encounters with what I assume were Little Brown Bats where the bat had gotten closer to me than I liked.
2 Bats in the House
Once three summers ago a bat flew right through the open door of my kitchen! It flew around the ceiling a bit while the dogs were going crazy and barking, and people tried to catch it to shoo it out. On its own it managed to fly right back out the door after a few minutes. Lots of drama for a little bat! This encounter was humorous, but the next was more startling for me…
The very next week another bat got into the house! I don’t know how this one got in. I was the only one awake that night, and as I was reading on the couch the bat shocked me by flying into the room! It flew around the house in a loop, and it startled me by getting close a couple of times.
Eventually it flew upstairs and I never saw it again! I didn’t see its body anywhere, but no one saw it fly around in the house again either…I don’t know how it got out of the house, or if perhaps it was caught by one of our cats?
Those were the only times bats ever got into the house, but it was very strange to have it happen two times in a row like that.
Share Your Bat Stories
So do any of you have bat encounter stories? Please feel free to share them here!