© All Rights Reserved 2021.
Most people spend their nights sleeping at home and go out to work or school during the day. Yet if you’ve ever stumbled upon a nest of bats, you’ll see them all sleeping soundly as they hang upside down. With all that sleeping, you’ve got to wonder when bats get a start on their day and leave their homes.
To answer this, it’s important to realize that animals are largely divided into two groups. Some animals are diurnal while others are nocturnal. Being diurnal means that an animal is awake and active during the day. Like people, these animals get most of their things done while the sun is still out. Nocturnal animals, on the other hand, get busy during the night. These animals will wait until sunset to start their days and go out hunting. While most animals fit into one group or the other, there is a handful that can be both!
As it turns out, bats are nocturnal. That means that these flying mammals become active during the night. It’s been found that bat activity is at its highest between sunset and sunrise when the night settles in and the world starts to darken. That means that you’ll see bats leaving their roost after dusk, where they’ll go out to get everything they need to survive. Bats accomplish two tasks during the night. The most important of these is hunting for food. The other task is mating, but that only happens during specific times of the year. This might surprise you, but bats actually get really active when they go out hunting.
These animals do a great job of catching their prey, usually insects like mosquitos, moths, and beetles. In fact, bats usually catch and eat more than half their weight in bugs each night, and a single bat is known to kill at least five hundred of those insects.
Bats may be nocturnal, but there has to be a good reason for it, right? Well, it turns out that bats are most active during the night because it’s the safest time of day for them. Bats are usually preyed on by big birds, like falcons, hawks, and peregrines. Since these birds are usually asleep at night, bats feel a lot safer going out after dusk.
In addition to that, bats are uniquely suited to the night. These flying mammals can hunt without seeing! They do this by using something called echolocation. This means that they emit a sound that bounces back to them if it hits something. This then informs the bat about whether there’s an obstacle in its path, if there’s potential prey nearby, and even how far away it is.
So if bats do all their hunting at night, what do they do during the day? They sleep!
The reason you’ll often find bats while they’re sleeping is that you spot them during the day, and that’s their time to rest. In fact, even if bats are awake, they’ll usually avoid going out. That’s because bats have become pretty sensitive to light, so they’ll try to avoid sunlight as much as possible. Yet the sensitivity depends on the species in question, as some of the less sensitive bats even do a bit of hunting during the day!