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Science & NatureBats in the belfry

Bats in the belfry

by Brent Eades

Darn near literally in this case:

BELFRY, noun. \ˈbel-frē \
A bell tower or steeple housing bells, especially one that is part of a church.

The Ottawa Citizen reported today a charming story about the efforts of Holy Name of Mary church to save the lives of 46 Big Brown Bats who had been earlier evicted from the space beneath the church’s roof.

(“Big Brown Bat” is their informal species name, by the way, as distinguished from their cousins the Little Brown Bats.)

Holy Name’s belfry is up top.

A Canadian Wildlife Federation biologist estimated that bats had been roosting inside the roof for 30 years. This summer Holy Name hired a pest control firm to remove them and then seal up the roof area.

But they came back anyway, clinging to the outside of the church in freezing temperatures that they likely wouldn’t have survived for long.

A Big Brown Bat.

So a week ago Holy Name called in the Wildlife Federation and the MM Fire Department to pluck the frigid bats from the building and move them to more congenial accommodations at the the Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. They’ll spend the winter there and be re-released in Almonte this spring.

According to the Citizen, “The CWF estimates winter care for the bats will cost $8,000. It invites donations at”




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