Fly by Night

Now that summer has arrived, the silhouettes of fluttering bats can be glimpsed in the cool, evening skies of Western Washington. They’re a welcome sight to anyone who dislikes being bitten by mosquitoes or other flying insects. Bats are known to feast on these pesky flyers, so during the cold, winter months, some bats migrate to warmer climates where these insects are still plentiful. Some remain to hibernate in caves, mines, attics, tree hollows or any other shelter from the weather.

In hibernation, a bat’s metabolism is slowed to a crawl. His body temperature drops dramatically, as does his heartbeat and respiration. This allows the bat to survive five months or more on nothing but stored body fat. If the bat is awakened, however, it will begin burning precious fat reserves. Just one disturbance could cost the bat its life.

In December, a Big Brown Bat was brought to PAWS after he was found clinging to the outside wall of a bar in Seattle’s University District. The bat was groggy, but he didn’t appear to be ill or injured. If released immediately, the bat would likely have starved. Instead, we housed the bat here at PAWS for the winter. For months, he feasted on mealworms, even gaining a little weight while his hibernating kin were doing just the opposite.

When warmer weather and flying insects returned in May, we released him into the night sky, wishing him a long slumber come next winter.

Sign Up for PAWS E-newsletters!

Contact Information

* denotes a required field

Which regular PAWS Newsletters would you like to receive?

Please check all that apply

E-mail this Page

E-mail this Page

Like what you see? Send a link to this page via e-mail. We respect your privacy. Neither you nor your friend will be added to PAWS’ mailing list.

Security Code

Thank you!

Your message has been sent.

Note: We will do our best to respond to your email on the next weekday. For an immediate answer, please give us a call.

Error

I'm sorry, your message was not sent. Double-check your security code. If this error persists, please contact us at (425) 787-2500 or info@paws.org.

Fatal Error

I'm sorry, there was a fatal error sending your message. We cannot process your request at this time. please contact our support team at (425) 787-2500 or info@paws.org.