Halloween is almost here.  Time to think about costumes, pumpkins, and…BATS!  A popular theme during Halloween, bats decorate windows and doors, cookies and cakes.  Sometimes the bat decorations look really scary.

CWR Bat illustration

Image: Clean Water Raingers Watershed Adventure

Are you scared of bats?  I’ll tell you a secret… I was scared of bats when I was in first grade.  Then my teacher told me that they wouldn’t hurt me or land on me as they flew around at night.  She explained that they were flying around to catch insects like mosquitoes for their dinner.

So how do bats find insects in the dark?  They use sound waves and echoes, a process called Echolocation.  It is pronounced like this:  e-kō-lō-ˈkā-shən.  They send out sound waves from their nose or mouth and when the sound waves hit an object an echo is created.  See the illustration below to see how it works.


Echolocation Types

After looking at the illustration, do you find it interesting that dolphins and submarines use echolocation underwater the same way bats use it in the air?  I sure do!


Gray Bat, Adam Mann, Environmental Solutions and Innovations

Gray Bats (Myotis grisescens)

To learn more about bats, ask your parents to visit this special website with you, www.bats4kids.org.  It was created for kids and has games, quizzes and other fun stuff for you to do.   Find the answer to this question and then you will know something that many adults don’t:  Are Bats Blind?


IRWP Cave Pavilion

Illinois River Watershed Partnership Future Bat Cave Pavilion

The Watershed Sanctuary is home to thousands of endangered Gray bats.  I hope you will come out to the Watershed Sanctuary in Cave Springs the next Spring when the bats return from winter hibernation to a see the bats for yourself at our Sanctuary Bat Viewing.



Related Posts:

The Endangered Gray Bat Prepares for Winter

Clean Water Raingers: The Lesson is in the Music