Thursday, August 4, 2011


Liz and Julie check a mist net over a small stream for bats.
Big Brown Bat

     Julie (in red) and Liz (in green) were up from Texas Tech University to collect some bats in the Red Hills and I was fortunate to be an assistant.  Both are in their doctorate programs at the university.  Bats are under significant threats from White Nose Syndrome and continued habitat modifications and misinformation about them.  Of the Kansas 15 species, over half of them occur in the Red Hills.  They come out to feed along streams and over ponds at night with peak activities from dusk until about midnight and then again just before dawn.  They live in caves, barns, abandoned houses and outbuildings along with old cellars and cracks in canyon walls.  This Big Brown Bat was among three species caught a few nights ago in these mist nets which are also used to catch birds in daytime by ornithologists.  Night is not a bad time to work in this searing heat but its always a good time to see all the nocturnal creatures.  Armadillos, raccoons, Barred Owls and an interesting assortment of moths, dragonflies, spiders and coyotes also kept company.  You can't ask for more in an interesting night in the Kansas Outback.  

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