On Saturday’s nature walk at Oakland Lake, a small park in Queens, Desi and I got to enjoy the antics of a very active Little Brown Bat before our friend Kerry arrived to join us. It was nice to get the opportunity to watch and photograph a bat in bright sunlight, and this particular example of Myotis lucifugus was amazingly cooperative. It basically flew circles around a small clearing over our heads while both Desi and I stood transfixed.

Little Brown Bat

Little Brown Bat Myotis lucifugus

The Little Brown Bat is one of the most common bats in North America though white nose syndrome is taking a very big toll on its population. They often use man-made structures for roosting and can be found across a huge swathe of the continent.

Contrary to popular belief, Little Brown Bats are not a major carrier of rabies, and they are not going to swoop down and try to suck your blood. There is only one documented case of a human ever catching rabies from a Little Brown Bat, though it did occur just last year.*

We worried about neither rabies nor vampirism. I just worried about getting good pictures while Desi worried about all the bugs that the Little Brown Myotis was eating.

Little Brown Bat

Little Brown Bat Myotis lucifugus

Little Brown Myotis

Eventually, the bat must have eaten enough to be sated because it flew up to a big tree and went to roost where we left it in peace.

Little Brown Bat perched

*Of course, people should always avoid handling known rabies vectors.

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Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.