I saw a bat flying at MSU this afternoon

Asked February 11, 2013, 6:47 PM EST

I work at MSU, and today I saw a bat flying near Olds Hall at 3:00 in the afternoon. I noticed it because at first I thought it was a leaf in the wind. Then I thought, bird, but it was flying oddly. And then I saw it clearly because it was flying low, erratically, and not very fast. Is this normal?

Ingham County Michigan

1 Response

Sorry, the bat is not predicting the End of Days or the Zombie Apocalypse.

It has more to do with Bat World. In Bat World, it's all about coordinating your life cycle to that of insects, which are food. If it was a warm day (or part of a number of warm days) or the area where the bat was hibernating got really warm, the bat might have thought spring had arrived. It emerged and flew in pursuit of lunch. The bat may have been literally pushed from its location by construction or something else that warmed the area and maybe disturbed it. The warming of the area and being disturbed are the most likely causes because bats are early evening guys, not 3 p.m. teatime guys.

The odd flying was because the bat had just come out of dormancy. Some of us walk like that right after we wake up in the morning. The bat probably circled around and went back to its bat lair in an attic somewhere. If it was flying around and it got cold, the bat would be in serious trouble. They are not designed for cold weather.

In Bat World, there is often some rabies going on. Not that this bat was sick, but if you find a bat, don't pick it up without really good leather gloves on. This is just a general warning for animal lovers that would like to help a bat down on its luck. Whatever it is, it's not worth a series of rabies shots.