Baturday News is a weekly blog written by Rachael, a high school student, bat advocate, and Save Lucy volunteer. Rachael’s interest in bats was sparked by the big brown bats that used the outside of her former home for a winter roost. Rachael has been writing the Baturday News for over three years.
Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week! Save Lucy had a very special guest this week. They took care of a very cute Eastern Small Footed Bat. This little bat had been hanging in a walkway, but after a few days, she fell. The people who owned the property where she was found took her to the Wildlife Center of VA. She was very sick. She was dehydrated, emaciated, and weighed only 3.2 grams. That is just about how much a penny weighs! The people at the Wildlife Center took very good care of her and brought her weight up to 3.8 grams. That is when she came to stay with Save Lucy. Our president, Mrs. Sturges, took very good care of her and nursed her back to health. Our little friend ate lots and lots of mealworms and gained weight quickly. She also had quite an attitude, which is a good sign. When wild animals start having an attitude, it often means they are feeling well enough to be released back into the wild. So, after showing off with some lovely flips and spirals in flight, the little bat was released. She was up to 4.3 grams and was released close to where she was found. It was a very pretty area with a lot of wildflowers, rocks and trees. I hope she is happy!
[Here's a little photo collage of our adorable guest. Watch full screen --Ed.]
I wanted to know more about this cute little bat, so I did some research. Eastern Small Footed bats can be found in Ontario and Quebec in Canada, and in the eastern United States. According to the map, these bats should be found here in Fairfax County, but they are rare here. These are the smallest myotis bats in the eastern United States. They have long glossy chestnut brown fur with a black face and ears. They also have dark wings and a dark tail membrane. They have teeny little feet that are absolutely adorable!
The Eastern Small Footed bat lives in heavily forested mountain ranges. They like rock falls, caves, mines and rock crevices. Since they hibernate in caves, they have been affected by White Nose Syndrome. These bats like to eat mosquitoes, small beetles, true bugs, and ants. They can be recognized by their slow flight. If you would like to learn more about the Eastern Small Footed bat, you can read about it here.