Tuesday, June 16, 2009

White Nose Syndrome in Massachusetts Bats

During the same trip where I saw the blue-gray gnatcatcher in Stiles and Hart, I also came across a bat on one of the paths.

It was completely unexpected of course since it was the middle of the day and the bat was on the ground. I had only seen bats in flight before so it was interesting to see one up close, but also concerning of course. I actually noticed it as I was walking over it, I stopped, took some pictures from behind, then walked over it again, saw it turn its head and look at me, then took one from the front.

I was worried it was sick, but it moved its head, so hopefully it wasn't too sick. I mentioned it to my dad and he told me about white nose syndrome, which is a mysterious disease killing Massachusetts bats. The name comes from the white fungus growing on the bats' noses. I didn't see any on this bat's nose so hopefully it's in the clear.
For more information on white nose syndrome:


Dan Huber said...

White nose syndrome is a scary thing. Seems much worse this year and more widespread from what i have heard. Maybe the bat was just sleeping in a bad spot and hopefully ok.

(btw - good meeting you on the BwBTC)


meg said...

i've read about this before. seriously alarming scenario. i hope that little guy was ok! cool pics-never seen a bat in daylight before!

Colleen said...

What an interesting find during the day. I must say I didn't realize how hairy they are. It looked like Donald Trump's hairdo.

Chris Petrak said...

Getting caught up on reading blogs - thanks for links on the bats. I hope it's not just tree huggers that are concerned - they are a sign that something is out of whack. Good reminder in your post on the gnatcatcher to take time to study features and learn birds.

Birdinggirl said...

@Dan- Yes, I'm hoping it was just sleeping too. It moved its head around to look at me so it seemed ok- maybe just nervous to fly away while I was around.

@Meg- Yes- hope so too. I had never heard of white nose syndrome but I'm glad this little guy didn't have it.

@Colleen- Yes- that surprised me too! This guy had so much hair it had waves in it- not unlike The Donald ;) haha

@Chris- Thanks for stopping by! Bats are very cool- we love watching them hunt for bugs at dusk. Thanks too for the props about the gnatcatcher. I should go back and look for it now that I have my zoom lens.