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Old 08-16-2009, 05:23 AM   #1
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Default Bat Watching

A lot of people watch birds, but I've found being out just as dark sets in or just before daylight batwatching is fun too. A few birds will be out during these times as well.

Instructions for those who haven't went before:
Find any park, urban or rural, with a large pond and walk around just before dark or just before the sun begins to rise. Plan to stay for at least a half hour so you can be sure to catch the bats coming out or going in. You have to watch how it is flying to determine if it's a bat or bird as you often can't see it very well. Bats seem to have slower, choppier wing beats than birds. In North America, it may be possible to use a bat detector to recognize the species. We did not have much luck with such equipment in Costa Rica, but there are far more species there to confuse such devices.

Bat Flying Video
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Old 08-16-2009, 05:31 AM   #2
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Midwesternerr, is that your footage of the flying bat? They are hard to "capture." At dusk, I have trouble telling bats from swallows as I watch both swoop after insects.
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Old 08-16-2009, 08:37 AM   #3
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Hubby was so excited the day he was out throwing a buzz bait for bass at our pond, and a bat swooped down at it, thinking it was a big insect. He went out for a few days at dusk for repeat sightings. He still mentions it now and them. If only I could find his "start button" and get him to make those bat houses. . . .
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Old 08-16-2009, 11:44 AM   #4
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Basically, I go to places where I know there will be gobs of bats out. Before long one will fly directly overhead where I can see it. I probably miss way more than I see, and sometimes I can't see them well enough to know for sure if it's a bat or a bird.

Here's a video showing a bird in a MO cave watch when there is 14 seconds left in the video and the camera shifts, if you look closely you will see something fly across the screen. The picture below shows a nest I found inside a cave.
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Bat Watching-nest1.jpg  
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:53 PM   #5
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One piece of advice on bat watching... don't fall asleep in loose clothes with mosquitoes and spiders around! Was not a fun wake-up call!

I used to catch moths and craneflies and loft them at the yard light from our deck to watch the bat chases. I'm sure Darwin wouldn't approve, but it sure was interesting to watch!
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:56 PM   #6
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You brut you.
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