Bats at Yolo Bypass and a very very very fast visitor .. #NikonD500, #Bats #YoloBypass #PeregrineFalcon

Went out to see the bats of Yolo Bypass tonight and was not disappointed.  

Got to the entrance around 7:45 and since this was 45 minutes before sunset and the bats were supposed to come out around sunset I went into the park for a few minutes to tool around.

Got a few pics of flowers, birds and Sacramento

And then headed back out b/c they lock the gate at sunset. I parked on the levee outside the gate and got out my camera gear and set up awaiting the bats. The bats came out just after the sun went down. A person there said that yesterday they came out 10 minutes before sunset.

And they streamed out ... and it was awesome to behold.

But then came the even more awesome stuff ...

A shadow of a thought.  

It was a peregrine.  I did not get great pics but got some OK ones (my lens is not good in low light).  And it did catch and eat a few bats on the wing.  And then headed off.

And then it headed out and the bats came back.

Slice of PLOS: The Awesomeness of Bats

Flying-bats-640x320Just how awesome are bats? It’s easy to forget that one in five species of mammal on this planet have wings capable of delivering spectacularly acrobatic flying abilities. Equally incredibly, two-thirds of these 1,200 species

Are Vampire Bats Nature’s Misunderstood Monsters?

Vampire1-690x320Werewolves, ghosts, and vampires—with the days getting shorter and colder, and Halloween fast approaching, our imaginations turn to the ghouls that supposedly come out around this time of year. Vampires, one of history’s most popular

#PLOS #SfN15 preview: taking an early start with the satellite meetings

As Chicago is readying itself for the arrival of some thirty thousand neuroscientists between October 17 and 21 for Neuroscience 2015 (#SfN15), the largest meeting in the field, a few hardy souls, including myself, are planning on taking an early … Continue reading »

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Flight of the Bats: Exploring Head Shape and Aerodynamics

It’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s a bat! All three may be soaring through the sky, but their shapes vary greatly, which affects their aerodynamics during flight. Birds typically have streamlined head profiles that strongly contrast with the appendages featured on … Continue reading »

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Bat Caves of Kenya – The Brain Scoop

Early in 2014, Emily Graslie of The Brain Scoop and Field Museum visited bat caves in Kenya, and the video of that trip is finally online. It’s only part 1, so there will be more, but there are already lots of shots of bats and poop and dark caves.

I’m always a little on the fence about bats: I like them, but they tend to make me jump when they swoop in front of my face when I least expect it. I think I’ll stick to watching them on video, where I can see more of them than just an unexpected flapping swoosh in the night.

Filed under: Have Science Will Travel Tagged: bats, Emily Graslie, Field Museum, guano, The Brain Scoop

Halloween Citizen Science in the Classroom: Answer the Bat Call!

Editor’s Note: This post is part of our Citizen Science in the Classroom Series where we explore the use of citizen science projects to teach science in the classroom by aligning them with Common Core and Next Generation STEM standards … Continue reading »

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Bat tour at Yolo Basin Wetlands

Did our second evening bat tour at the local Yolo Basin Wetlands last night.  It was very nice.  They start off with a lecture and bat introduction at the Visitor Center and then a convoy heading out to the wetlands and drove way way into the back (the side near Sacramento) to just next to the causeway.  Then we waited until sunset and out came the bats.  Thousands and thousands of them.  It was cool.  Here are some videos and pics.  And also some responses to my Tweets about it.

Rabies Scare Leads to Quick Public Health Action


By Jacquelyn Lickness

When a hospital in South Carolina spotted bats flying through its facility, officials sprang into action launching an investigation to prevent a possible rabies outbreak. Because bats are commonly infected with the virus, any contact with the flying mammals is taken very seriously. The hospital quickly involved state public health officials, who then reached out to CDC to help investigate any possible exposure to the rabies virus.

Team in the EOCRabies is a disease typically acquired through the bite of a rabid animal, and can be deadly if the exposure (e.g., bite) is not recognized early enough. Across the globe there are more than 55,000 human deaths from rabies each year. However, in the U.S. human cases are extremely rare, with approximately two human deaths annually. Most exposures to the rabies virus in the U.S. occur through contact with animals that are commonly infected with the virus, including bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes.

Participation in the response effort

The response effort in South Carolina is ongoing and has involved collaboration among hospital staff, state public health officials, and CDC rabies experts and volunteers. Because hundreds of patients and hospital staff might have come in contact with bats, it was important to assess each individual’s risk of exposure.

In this event, it was critical to understand any interaction with a bat. It is possible that bat bites can go unnoticed if the person is sleeping or sedated, thus placing a person at risk for rabies. As a result, the investigation team asked about certain activities such as bat handling and touching, heavy sleeping or sedation, and other medical history that may indicate exposure.

Rabies expert and CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer Dr. Neil Vora orchestrated a response that included the administration of hundreds of phone-based surveys to hospital patients and staff. This large-scale investigation was managed through the CDC Emergency Operations Center. EIS officers, veterinary and medical students, and public health students from nearby Emory University eagerly offered their support for the data-gathering activities. The Student Outbreak and Response Team (SORT), a public health organization from Emory University that assists in outbreak responses, organized a contingency of nearly 20 students to assist the efforts. In the span of four days, a total of 55 volunteers made 817 calls.

EOC teamThe investigation wasn’t just limited to patient questionnaires. Other activities included the distribution of letters and flyers to patients and visitors to warn of bat exposure, mapping and creation of a timeline of bat sightings, and testing of bats for rabies. A quick response was made possible through collaboration between the hospital, South Carolina public health officials, a local pest control company, and all participants at CDC.

Determining the extent of exposure

In total, 53 bats have been sighted in the hospital, of which 12 were tested and have results available, all of which were negative. That said, other bats in the colony that have not been tested could still have had rabies. After the removal of the bats and other interventions to prevent their re-entry, the bat sightings have decreased. As a result of the collaborative effort among CDC, the state public health department, and the affected hospital during this response, partnerships were strengthened and new public health tools and practices were developed. Most importantly, all involved continue taking measures to understand best practices in rabies prevention and treatment to ensure the safety of the public’s health.