Bat populations in Maine have declined precipitously over the past decade due to white-nose syndrome and other threats, but it’s still an exhilarating experience to watch bats stream out from barn roof rafters and flutter across the summer nighttime sky. With the aid of an iPad-assisted acoustic microphone on loan from the University of Maine, we will use both our eyes and our ears to observe bats. The microphone picks up the bats’ ultrasonic echolocation calls and translates those calls into a visual display and into a range detectable by the human ear. The linked software identifies the species of bat that is vocalizing. Erik and Sabrina will also describe opportunities for volunteer citizen-scientists to assist in BatME, an ongoing bat monitoring project, either on their own properties or in locations that wildlife researchers want to check for bat activity. Last summer 14 volunteers monitored over 85 nights in 60 different towns across Maine, collecting valuable new information about bat presence.
Friday, July 8, 8:00-9:30 p.m. Leaders: Eric Blomberg and Sabrina Morano
Meet and park: Fields Pond Audubon Center. A brief indoor presentation will be followed by a very short hike (less than 1/4 mile) to the Curran Homestead for bat observation. Please DO NOT park in the driveway at Curran Homestead.
This field trip is co-sponsored by the Curran Homestead, www.curranhomestead.org .