A new swarming site for Bedfordshire.

On Thursday night we went to one our smaller hibernation sites to see if any autumn swarming was taking place.This is the time of year when bats are on the look out for mate (or mates) And it is thought that Autumn swarming is used for this as well as for checking out suitable hibernation sites.tYou don’t get bats present in large numbers,but we did catch 2 male barbastelles and a Natterer’s in full breeding condition before the temperature dropped drastically and all the bats found somewhere warmer to be.

We also found a single dropping in another place on the site which might also be suitable for hibernation. We will be checking it out during this winter’ s hibernation surveys

We have found both barbastelles and Natterer’s in this hibernation site in previous years.

Illustration Joan childs

Illustration Joan Childs

Bats mate at this time of year and the female store the sperm until they are about to come out of hibernation when they release their egg which is fertilised by the spem the female has kept safe all winter

For more on the bizarre mating habits of bats the following:

The Biology of  Bat courtship 2005-10The Biology of Courtship
The Biology of pregnancy and birth 2006-4-11pregnancy and birth

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