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WildWatchcams
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Olympia, WA 98501-1091

 
Photo bat licking pool of water while in flight. Reflection of bat seen in the water.
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BATS

An adjustable camera is normally used to study the behavior of this maternity colony and bat-views, however it is unavailable.  We have many pre-recorded videos you can enjoy.

Big Brown Bats are present and active through the summer months, scattering across the rafters and metal roofing of the bat roost during the day. Early morning and cooler overcast days provide the best times to view larger numbers of adults and the young of the summer. Bats will be on the increase in and around your homes and neighborhoods, so whether you love bats or just want to learn more about these fascinating flying mammals check out the following for more information about learning to live around bats:  WDFW Living With Bats  You can also download the recently published Washington State Bat Conservation Plan at:  Washington State Bat Conservation Plan

Bats are vital to Washington's ecosystems. Although they are one of our most fascinating native mammals, they are probably the least studied and understood. All of our bats are insect eaters, consuming millions, many of which are pests. They find insects and navigate in the dark by "echolocation," a type of radar system. They call out ultrasonic notes, usually far above human range of hearing, and "listen" for the returning echoes that tell them what is front of them. You can think of it as a sort of "sonar" system.  This ability is so refined that they have no trouble "seeing" tiny insects and catching them in total darkness.

Washington has 16 of the world's more than 900 species of bats. The most significant threats to bat survival are persecution by humans and loss of habitat. Vandalism and disturbance of roosting caves, maternity colonies, loss of tree snags, and careless use of pesticides all seriously threaten remaining populations.

Bats live in many different habitats, including: caves, abandoned mines, cliffs, rock crevices, wood piles, under loose tree bark, in dead tree hollows, under bridges, and in barns, attics, and other human structures. In winter when insects become scarce, most bats either migrate south to warmer climes or hibernate. Some bats remain active throughout the winter, especially on the west side of the Cascades, coming out to forage on dry evenings.  Silver-haired and California bats are the most-often observed species during winter.  Others may sleep in winter roosts, or "hibernacula", for up to five months, living off the fat they have built up during the summer.

Females generally give birth to a single pup sometime between nearly June to mid-July. Born hairless and helpless, the babies mature quickly. Their ears and eyes open within hours and they learn to fly in three to six weeks.

What Can You Do to Help Bats?

Photo of brown bat in gloved hand.