Kindling Neighborly Connections between People and Nature.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Bat Release

When I was told about a bat that was on the floor of the Men's restroom in the church building I went to check it out. It was very easy to get it to crawl into shoe box. At that point I carried it in the box over to a nearby park.

As I was preparing to release the bat there was a family that was interested in checking it out, so they got to watch as the bat crawled out of the box, climbed about 15 feet up the trunk of a small tree, and found a good place to rest during the day where it could remain undisturbed until evening. You can check out part of the bat release in the video that is attached below.

Taking a look at the photo below, notice that this bat has ears that are relatively large in proportion to the head; that is so it can use the strategy called 'echolocation' to locate insects on the wing. In the video you'll hear the clicking noises that the bat makes. When its flying it sends out thise clicking calls and as the soundwaves bounce off of flying insects and return to be picked up by the bat's acute hearing it is able to locate and catch those bugs with it's quick maneuvering that looks like errratic flight to us. Bats use those sharp little teeth to munch on flying insects which they catch on the wing. This one bat will eat 6000 to 8000 insects each night! (

As is the case with many living things, bats are beneficial to people in a very direct way as an insect control measure; that makes it economically productive to care for bats from a selfish point of view.

Aside from that, considering Jesus' call to love our neighbors as ourselves not because of what they can do for us, but simply because they are our neighbors; I would say that considering bats as well as other wild-neighbors, they are intrinsically beautiful in and of themselves and worthy of our love and care for that reason alone.

As we seek to live into community with all that has life in Jesus' name, usually the best thing we can do for wildlife is to give them space, and sometimes a helping hand is what's needed most.

(Here is a nice close-up photo of the bat- seems healthy, just a bit disoriented due to crawling around on a smooth bathroom floor and then being carried into the daylight-but it will be ready to fly and hunt come evening.)

(after crawling out of the shoe box the bat quickly climbed up to the large notch in this tree, about 15 feet off the ground)

(Here is the bat depicted in the shoe box for a size comparison)

(Here is the bat release video)

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