Bats

Bat spotting in Amsterdam

 

Bats can go relatively invisibly throughout the city unless you know that they are there. The bats in Amsterdam are very small and can easily be mistaken for birds by the untrained eye.

 

The province of North Holland has some of the best resourced bat experts in the world. I was lucky enough to meet one of them with Natuur je Beste Buur, the environmental group I volunteer for. It was incredibly fun and educational. We went for a walk around the sports parks and spotted several bats flying around.

 

We learned a lot in one evening, too much to share everything, but I will share as much as I can.

 

Here are 10 amazing facts about bats:

 

  • Bats begin their day at twilight, this is the most likely time that you will see them
  • They do not like wet or windy conditions
  • Bats can eat up to 3000 bugs in one night; this is brilliant if you have a mosquito problem.
  • They use echo location to detect the bugs.
  • With a bat detector you can hear the echo location and therefore locate the bats and identify them.
  • You can attract bats to your garden by providing them with a bat house
  • Bats make up ΒΌ of all the mammals on the planet
  • Bats are not a danger to people if they are left undisturbed
  • There are 1,300 kinds of bats in the world, but just 4 in North Holland
  • Most Bats around the world are endangered due to habitat destruction and prejudice

 

Once we knew what to look for, we spotted 3 bats flying around our tiny little garden just a few nights later

 

Do you want to know more to help the Bats?

 

  • Avoid using pesticides, bugs are their food and they will get sick if they eat poisoned food
  • Make sure not to tear down old buildings before you give the bats an alternative place to live
  • When constructing a new road be sure not to cause road deaths
  • If you see an injured bat don't pick it up, place a towel over it and call bat experts for assistance
  • Provide the bats with a nice habitat - see the UK bat site
  • Keep your cat away from the bats

 

There may bat houses that you can purchase in your local area. Do your research to ensure you have the best home for the bats that live near you.

If you are interested in knowing more about building a bat house you can watch this US based video

 

 

 

There are also many resources in English available to help you on this Dutch site:

 

Things to consider when building roads in areas where bats live

 

Building a bat friendly home

 

More about Bats in forests