Understanding bats in my area

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Understanding bats in my area

Postby Karyl » Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:41 am

I am located in north Georgia. This fall I put up my first bat house and am trying to do some research on bats, habits, behavior. From various resources (BatCon, local wildlife agencies) I've got a list of 16 bat species which may be around here.

What I can not seem to figure out is which of these species have been known to use a man made structure of a backyard bat house scale. Some I understand will not at all - such as the Rafinesque's big-eared bat. Some I understand readily use bat house but the others I don't have a clue.

Another thing I can not seem to find details on is migration/hibernation habits of different species. I'd like to know where the 16 species winters. What do they hibernate in? Caves? Tree bark?

I have a single bat house, have seen bats, water is nearby. I also have an outbuilding which is not at all used and was sort of thinking about hanging baffles in it for species who are not likely to use a bat house but may use a building. Without really understanding bat behavior I am not sure that is a valid plan and may work or just the idea of someone with a tiny bit of knowledge.

So, can anyone recommend a good book, papers, journals, anything on bat behavior - not a bat house plan book - with more detailed information? Thank you in advance.
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Re: Understanding bats in my area

Postby cloudman75 » Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:05 pm

I am in Lithia Springs. There are several hundred caves in Georgia. Bartow county, Walker, and Dade may be used by your local bats. We have a lot of little brown bats in Metro Atlanta area. They usually arrive here at my place in mid March and leave in Nov. after a frost or two. Most of the little browns, I have read, hibernate in caves.
I have some suitable caves within 35 miles in Bartow county. Take a look at this link . It shows the many caves
in certain counties. Most of our bats in NW GA. will be using a cave for hibernation.
http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/ ... ?id=h-2130

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Re: Understanding bats in my area

Postby Karyl » Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:23 pm

great link - thank you, it was bookmarked. You gave me an idea. I'm by Amicalola Falls in north Georgia and on good terms with their wildlife rehabbers, managers. They are great people, maybe I can grill them. You know, will trade invasive plant clean up work for knowledge.

The bats here left a month ago. I had two species, no idea which. They were drastically different sizes and color though, One small dark, the other large (seemed huge actually for a bat) and lighter greyish color.

Being in the birding world has spoiled me. I want color coded summer winter range maps, food lists, habitat info, the works. I laughed at myself when I realized I would not be getting that for bats.
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Re: Understanding bats in my area

Postby Cheryl » Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:14 pm

You've got a great attitude about the bats!! Please stick around! I'd love to hear about what you learn. :D
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Re: Understanding bats in my area

Postby Karyl » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:08 pm

I'll stick around. Been picking up tidbits from pasts posts and it's helped.
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