13th Annual Indiana Bat Festival
Always Hanging Out!
The Busy Social Lives of Bats
September 21, 2019
Enter the Art Contest!
Artwork must be submitted by September 13, 2019.
See the Art Contest Page for more details!
This year’s festival will focus on bat social behaviors and social networks. Most bats are extremely social, just like humans. Bats hang out in groups in their roosts, whether under the bark of a dead tree, under the large leaf of a tropical plant, on the ceiling of a cave, or in the rafters of a barn. Some bats live in harems, where a male defends his roost and a small group of females against intrusion by other males. Other bats live in large maternity colonies of hundreds or even thousands of moms and their pups roosting together during the pregnancy and lactation periods. When pups are able to fly, the group disbands into smaller factions. Males may form bachelor colonies. Bats also fly together in search of food, sometimes sharing information about the whereabouts of a good patch of mayflies on the stream or trees with ripe fruits in the forest. The vampire bat even shares its food, blood, with friends, in a behavior called reciprocal altruism.
At the 13th annual festival, there will be live bats and raptors, guest speakers discussing how bats socialize, a bake sale, kids’ activities (face painting, “cave” exploration, origami, and more), information on building your own bat box, silent auction, and conservation exhibits.
Day time activities are from 10:00 am–4:00 pm in the Science Building on the campus of Indiana State University (corner of 6th and Chestnut Streets, Terre Haute, IN).
Evening events are at Dobbs Park (5170 E Poplar Drive, Terre Haute, IN) from 6:00–9:00 pm. Evening activities include a live raptor demonstration, a kids’ adventure course related to bats and bat research, face painting, a survey of bats’ favorite foods (moths and beetles!), and listening for bats at dusk!
The Indiana Bat Festival is a FREE event. Thanks to our sponsors for their support:
Rob Smith and Jan Lesniak
Marshall and Becca Parks