Get 'batty' this Halloween with CJ Wildlife

Shropshire based CJ Wildlife shares some ideas for fun this Halloween relating to the most wonderful mammal – the bat.
Free downloadable resources are available for activities from their website in the Kids section, The Den (https://www.birdfood.co.uk/the-den/activities), including some fantastic contributions from the Bat Conservation Trust with whom CJ Wildlife are corporate supporters. Have a go at making your own bat hat or colouring in a bat mask. 

Bats have been associated with Halloween since ancient times where people used to gather around huge bonfires to ward off evil spirits.  The heat from the bonfires attracted a host of flying insects which in turn attracted the bats. Their silhouettes soon became a feature of the Halloween tradition. Despite their unfortunate reputation, bats actually play an important role in pollination and seed dispersal and are therefore vital to preserving our environment. 

We are lucky enough to have 18 species of bat in the UK and you will be pleased to know that all UK bats eat only insects, so put your worst Halloween fears to rest. A common pipistrelle will eat up to 3,000 midges and other small insects every night although itself only weighing the same as a 20p coin! Many bat species are actually very small and vulnerable, and this time of the year are not beyond needing your help.

Bats are now preparing for ‘hibernation’ by spending increasing periods of time in a state of deep sleep, known as torpor. A bat’s body temperature lowers and their metabolic rate slows, meaning they use less energy and can survive on the fat they have stored up instead of trying to forage for find insects over the cold month. During the winter the length of time in torpor increase and we won’t see them on the wing again until March or April. Bats may roost on their own or in small groups, often in cool, quiet places like disused buildings, old trees or caves, where they hopefully won't be disturbed. But when this is not possible they very much appreciate a bat box in your garden.

Make this year’s Halloween a night to remember with a build your own Igor Bat Box to keep your youngsters busy or follow the bats in your garden with a Bat Book – round about dusk you may be able to spot these amazing mammals as they take flight in search of food, water and shelter.   

For more information on bats, visit www.bats.org.uk and for a range of bat products www.birdfood.co.uk/wildlife/bats

 

 

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