Baby Bats Months

Baby Bats Months

May is finally here and the countdown to the first baby bats has started. Some of the bats you spot flying around in your garden will be female bats pregnant with a single pup (it's the name for a baby bat) or rarely twin (just like humans). They will be looking for a suitable place, a maternity roost, to give birth and raise their babies along with other bat mums. 

When the weather gets warmer, usually in early summer, pregnant female bats gather together in warm, safe places to have their babies. These roosts are called maternity roosts. Some groups of bats return to the same site every year.

A bat’s pregnancy lasts between six and nine weeks. The length of the pregnancy depends on the species and can be influenced by weather, climate and availability of food. Bats usually give birth to a single baby (called a pup) each year. They keep their babies close and nurture them carefully. The young bats are suckled by their mothers for four to five weeks until they are old enough to fly. They then begin to venture out from the roost to forage for food.

Bats are very sensitive during the maternity season and may abandon their young if they are disturbed. As warm, dry indoor spaces like lofts are often ideal for maternity colonies, it’s very important to check for bats before carrying out any building or remedial work.

In the late spring/summer you may come across a small bat unable to fly. These pups may have been out on their first flight leaving the roost and unable to find their way back in or they might be orphaned and crawled out looking for mom. If you find a young or baby bat this should be treated as urgent as it will be extremely vulnerable to predation and the cold and cannot survive on its own. 

Bats are under threat from landscape and environmental changes such as:

  • Hedgerow removal
  • Increased light at night
  • Climate change
  • Increased use of pesticides
  • Vulnerable to exclusion from their roosts in buildings and other man-made structures

• Bats in Ireland •

• All 9 Irish bat species are protected under national and EU legislation. It is illegal to tamper/remove/block up any bat roost without licence from the National Parks Wildlife Service •

• Bats eat thousands of mosquitos and small flying bugs and are an enormous benefit to have around your home •

• If you find a bat on the ground, or in an exposed area, especially during the day, it is likely to need help •

• Avoid handling any bat without gloves on. If it is necessary to remove the bat wear gardening or latex gloves and use a tea towel to gently lift the bat •

• If bats become cold, they go into a state called ‘Torpor’, which is like a mini hibernation and they will be unable to fly and will flop to the ground if you force them to fly. Bats need to warm up prior to flying and will vibrate their muscles to prepare to fly. 

• Always get advice from Bat Rehabilitation Ireland and if it needs to go into care. 

• Myths •

• Bats do not fly around hoping to get tangled in your hair to build a nest. They will avoid you at all costs and want nothing to do with you •

• There are no vampire bats in Ireland, none of our species will drink your blood. Insects are the only meal item they are interested in. There are only 3 species (out of 1200) that will drink blood, mostly from cattle. These guys are in central and south America •

• Bats are not blind; they have eyes and can see but use echolocation at night to track down some dinner •

• Bats are not pests, instead they provide free pest control to help keep flying insect populations under control •

Source: Bat Conservation Ireland, Wild Inishowen Club Facebook Page and Wildlife Rescue Cork

Back to blog