FC: My Life: An Indiana Bat Story
1: On a warm summer night I was flying around my summer home, a woodland forest in Kentucky. My name is Rachel, and I am an endangered Indiana bat. You would know I am an Indiana Bat because I am very small and am a dark brown color. You might also hear my favorite sound- “Eeeekkkk!” It sounds like a high-pitched squeak. This is how I find my food using echolocation. I let out a high squeaky sound that bounces off an insect and then echos back to me.
2: My eyesight is terrible, but I have very large ears that I use to “see” the insect I am after for my dinner. You might not like the insects that I eat, but I think they are delicious! In fact, I can eat 4,000 pesky insects, like mosquitoes, in one night!
3: After a night of eating insects, I fly back to my roost in a dead tree to sleep all day.
4: You might think it looks funny, but I like to sleep hanging upside down by my thumbs. My body is very small, but my wingspan is about 10 inches long. I actually have fingers just like you, which are in my wings. I hang upside down during the winter, too, when I go to hibernate in a cave for many months.
6: Just as I started back towards my tree to sleep after a long night hunting, I spied a bird just waking up for the day in a long-leaf pine tree.
8: Wow, was this bird loud! The Red-cockaded Woodpecker is almost as tall as my wings are wide-about 7 inches.
9: This woodpecker must be a male because he is black and white with a little bit of red right around his ear.
10: His call sounds very high-pitched, just like mine. I see this woodpecker start looking for insects to be his breakfast.
11: Like many forest animals it is getting harder and harder for this woodpecker and I to find places to sleep and food to eat because our forest homes are slowly disappearing. Forests are being torn down to make more room for houses and farms.
12: People do not realize all the good things that bats and other animals do for them. Besides being the only mammals that fly, bats help control the insect population that bother people and farm crops.
14: Bats, like woodpeckers and all other wild animals, need space to live and hunt. Next time you see a hungry bat swooping to eat or hear a woodpecker busy at work looking for insects, remember that the forest belongs to all of us.