A Day in the Life: Bat Caretaker Pt. 4

May 28, 2014 | Blog

Well, dear readers, the time to release the bats in my care is rapidly approaching.  Although the actual date is probably still a few weeks away (depends on a variety of factors, most especially mean daily temperatures and the adequate abundance of bugs for them to eat) I am starting to go through the worried concerns of any wildlife rehabilitator who has cared for a particular animal long-term.  I liken it to a mom (yours?) enduring the departure of her child as he/she moves out from home to start the next phase of their life.  Heart-wrenching, yet elating!  Excited for their on-going journey, yet saddened to not see them everyday anymore!

As “my” bats await their release, and my excitement builds for their imminent resumption of a free life, I can’t help but think about all the dangers that await them as well.  Apart from all the usual environmental concerns (pesticides, herbicides, predators – including humans, etc) there is at least one that might catch you by surprise.

It is a magnificent tool for harnessing sustainable clean energy, yet puts thousands upon thousands of birds and bats at risk every year.  See http://batcon.org/index.php/what-we-do/bats-and-wind-energy.html

Which species are most affected?  See http://batcon.org/index.php/what-we-do/bats-and-wind-energy/subcategory/560.html  (Did you see where the bats in my care rank?)

Wikipedia also has interesting (and, to a bat-mom, alarming) information. Scroll down to the Bats section, or read the whole page:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_wind_power

Discussion question:  What do you think the statement “Recent research shows that bats may also be killed when suddenly passing through a low air pressure region surrounding the turbine blade tips.” means?  What actually happens to the bat?  I know, but can’t bring myself to tell you.

Clean, sustainable energy is critical … but at what cost?  The good news is that the ongoing growth in awareness is encouraging the great minds behind both energy and conservation to seek solutions for this difficult issue.

With this in mind, I have to trust that “my” bats will venture forth to live a full and vibrant life with all the wonders this world has to offer while still remaining safe from its hazards.

The Silver Haired Bat has been with me since September 2013, and the Big Brown Bats since January 2014.  I confess an emotional attachment, but this will not impede my higher need to see them resume their respective lives in the wild.  Like any mom, I have to trust that I did the best I could for them to survive (and thrive) in what the world has in store for them.

Plus, it doesn’t help that I am writing this blog on the eve of Mother’s day while Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” plays in the background!!  Looks like Fate has it in for me today in that respect!   I’ll have a much happier tale to tell when my “kids” are finally released!  Promise!

** Note from staff: Sorry about the delay in posting! We have been very busy here at the WRSE!

Now, here’s Big Brown Bat #1:

He ‘smiles’ … a lot!!