OHC Summer Series #4: Bats and the Sense of Hearing

Summer Series #4
Bats and Sense of Hearing

Train Your Senses

  • Sight: Observe the sky at sundown, look for the silhouettes of birds, bats, or insects in the air.
  • Hearing: Observe the sounds of the night starting at sundown: bats, crickets, frogs, bark of a dog, hoot of an owl, birds, rustling in the leaves, wind, etc. Can you hear more sounds on a damp night? Can you hear more sounds at night when your sense of sight is not as keen?

Inside Preparation Work:
1. Read pages 241-245 in the Handbook of Nature Study (Lesson 59 The Bat). Although the lesson for bats states that it should not be given unless you can directly observe bats in person and most of us do not have direct access to bats, do not let this discourage you from completing this challenge. Make sure to watch the YouTube video about bats listed in the additional resources for this challenge and then proceed with the lesson suggestions. If you need additional information, use the resources at the end of this challenge.

2. Read in Discover Nature at Sundown pages 27-35 and pages 130-153 (Note: Evolutionary talk in this section). The first section will prepare you to use your sense of hearing more as you are outdoors in the evenings this summer. Plan on spending some time outdoors in the evenings to observe the sounds of the summer at sundown. The second section will give a thorough account of the bat including what kind of bats you can expect in your part of the country. Pay special attention to pages 138-140 for specific ideas for finding bats to observe in real life. (Please note the above link is an affiliate link to Amazon.com)

Outdoor Hour Time:
1. Things That Go Bump in the Night:
Spend 15 minutes outdoors at sundown, observing some of the sounds suggested in the book. The book suggests observing sounds on a damp night and a dry night and comparing your results. Something else to listen for is “sudden silence” where the night noises completely stop and then start up again after a period of time.

2. World of Bats:

“Although an occasional bat can be found flying about during the day, most bats take to the sky during the twilight hours. On a summer evening you can observe them in a dance of twists, spirals, and loops that is choreographed by the insects they pursue.” Discover Nature at Sundown, page 148

If you have the opportunity to observe some bats up close, make sure to use some of the suggestions from the Handbook of Nature Study and/or the Discover Nature at Sundown.

Follow-Up Activity:
Make sure to give time and the opportunity for a nature journal entry using the Summer Sounds or the Bat notebook page for provided in the ebook or a blank page in your own journal. There is also a bat coloring page included with the ebook.

Additional Resources:

This challenge is found in this ebook:
Summer Series of Outdoor Hour Challenges
Summer Nature Study Ebook

Ultimate Ebook Library @handbookofnaturestudy



  1. Whew. Three posts today. I think I’m thunk out. :)

    We had fun with this one – Thanks!

  2. We love bats! We’re still studying bats in fact – the kiddos have been so intrigued! :D

  3. I really loved how the bat study and the sense of hearing went together. Also that bat babies are called pups :)

  4. Still catching up! We enjoyed looking for bats even though we didn’t have any luck seeing some.

  5. We had a great time tonight at sunset. We saw several bats, bugs, and birds!!! Loved listening to the night sounds, too :)

  6. We looked for bats in the barn loft, a bit before dark, and then again at 9 p.m. Olivia counted 14 bats flying between 8′-40′ from the ground. The girls were thrilled to see these fast-flying bats!

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