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  • Mike Bullock

Three rare species of bat identified at Western Massachusetts pond


eastern small-footed bat
Eastern small-footed bat. Photo: Wikicommons

In July, I participated in a bat survey at an isolated pond in the Connecticut River Valley. Biologist and Mass Audubon educator Erin Ruggiano and I used digital bat detectors to identify as many as 7 of the 9 species that are considered Massachusetts bats. Three of the species are listed by the state as endangered: the eastern small-footed bat (Myotis leibii), little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus), both identified with a high level of confidence; and tri-colored bat (Perimyotis subflavus), identified with moderate confidence, as the ID was based on a single recording from my recorder.

Little brown bat
Little brown bat. Photo: Wikicommons

Erin used a Petersson D500, and I used a EchoMeter Touch Pro* by Wildlife Acoustics. I ran my recordings through WA's Kaleidoscope Pro for some tentative IDs, but left the final pronouncements to the professional scientist. Erin made the final IDs by using SonoBat to analyzing spectrograms of the calls.

Why Wikicommons photos, you ask? Well, you try asking three very busy bats to hold still for a group photo at night.

*The iPhone version of the EchoMeter Touch Pro is now out of production; from what I've read, there's something about Apple's proprietary lightning connector makes it very hard for independent companies to develop hardware for it.


tri-color bat
Tri-color bat. Photo: Wikicommons

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