Monday, May 14 2001

This is not an obituary

Richard Dawkins: Lament for Douglas Adams.

Birthday Dino:

Happy Birthday und alles Gute zum Geburtstag, Martin!

Two-winged visitors

Scott posted in the DG that they prefer to watch bats in the back yard instead of having hornets visiting. But do you also have bats inside your house, Scott?

One day last summer, when I was visiting my parents, my mom said she saw something black flying around in the house. At first we didn’t believe her, but she insisted. After a little searching, we found a bat hanging on the curtains in my sister’s bedroom – upside down and asleep.
My dad put on gloves, grabbed the bat and released it from the window.

Later that evening, we were sitting in the livingroom and watching TV. My mom said she saw something again… And suddenly I saw it, too! It was another bat, flying round and round right below the ceiling. It tried to land on the curtains, maybe it was looking for a place to hide or sleep. But for some reason the curtain didn’t suit it’s purposes, so it landed on a wall above a picture, turned upside down and crawled behind the picture frame. We watched in disbelief and awe.

We took the picture down from the wall, and the bat, no longer able to hide, started flying around again. From one end of the living room to the other, around the lamp, around, around, around. Poor thing, it certainly was frightened. We would have been glad to get it back outside, but how do you catch a bat that’s flying around in your living room?

My dad got his gloves out again, my mom and I watched the bat and hoped it would land somewhere. I had the great idea to open the window – maybe it was going to find the way out by itself?

Bad idea. Within a couple of minutes, we had two bats flying around in the living room. Now imagine three people shooing two bats around the room, trying to get them to the window. I stood next to the window, which I had closed again, ready to open it when the bats approached. But no such luck.

Next try: We opened the window again and didn’t move, hoping that the bats tried to find the way out once they calmed down. And yes, one bat really found the window and flew out – only to fly back in again. Or was it a different one? I looked out into the garden and saw a whole bunch of bats flying around in the back yard. And whoops! Another one flew in. Now there were three bats flying around the lamp…

Grundschule Hetzwege: I imagined the conversation between the bats in the garden: “Hey, Tony, who’s next once Joe comes back outside? We have to keep those humans occupied!”

But finally, after more than an hour, we managed to get all three bats back outside without others coming in.

But I still wonder why they came inside. There have been bats around as long as I can think. They have quite a few quiet places in the neighbourhood where they can rest undisturbed during the day: a lot of high old oak trees, barns, and the little tower on top of the school, which is right across the street from my parents’ house and makes a perfect bat hangout. They have never tried to enter the house before and never since, as far as I know. But then, I don’t think my parents like to leave the windows open in the evenings any more…

Interesting sites about bats

  • Organization for Bat Conservation
  • bat conservation international, especially the Discovery section
  • Bat Conservation Trust, UK
  • This page has sound files of bats (.wav or .ram)
  • Und auf deutsch: Filineas Fledermäuse
  • One thought on “Monday, May 14 2001

    1. Scott Hanson

      Actually, my folks did have a bat inside the house once. With a broom they managed to trap it inside a closet, which was good for neither my folks nor the bat. It took them about an hour to get it out of the house.

      Here in Lüllau, the bats have stayed outside where they belong! At least up to now.

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