Bats About Our Town

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Bats About Our Town is a non-profit volunteer group in Thurston County, Washington State, devoted to the wonderful bat populations of our area. We lead bat tours May-August at Capitol Lake, educate people about our local bats, conduct bat research, and advocate for bat protection.

Our initial focus is on the more than 5,000 bats that congregate every summer night right in downtown Olympia, spending up to six hours feeding on insects at Capitol Lake.  Many of these bats arrive as pregnant mothers, and then continue to eat at the lake every night while they nurse their pups. 

About 3,000 Yuma and Little Brown Bat mothers commute 16 to 20 miles round trip from a maternity colony in Woodard Bay in North Olympia.

  • The Woodard Bay colony is the largest known in Washington State;
  • This is the longest known commute in North America for these tiny bats, each weighing what a nickel weighs;
  • And, a nursing mother bat may make the trip twice a night.

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