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Hidden Oaks Nature Center Celebrates 10th Annual Bat Fest

Big Brown BatLeslie Sturges, a wildlife rehabilitator and licensed exhibitor, will present live bats at Hidden Oaks Nature Center on Saturday, September 13, 2014, during Bat Fest. This is the tenth year the nature center has played host to the two-hour program devoted to Fairfax County’s nine local bat species. Along with Sturges’ presentation, participants will enjoy an evening hike, games, and crafts. The cost is $7 for county residents and $9 for guests from elsewhere. The fun gets underway at 7 p.m.

Sturges will lead the hike and teach participants how to use her bat calling equipment. Past participants have seen live bats flying overhead in the parking lot and nearby ball fields and have enjoyed watching Sturges feed mealworms to bats by hand. Participants will learn how tropical bats provide food for us, hear an array of bat calls, and receive information on building bat houses. Kids will find plenty of age appropriate activities to hold their interest.

Sturges will also discuss her role as director of Save Lucy, a campaign to educate the public about how white-nose syndrome is decimating bat populations around the country.

Bat Facts

  • Bats are mammals and are not related to rats or mice.
  • They eat TONS of bugs every night.
  • A single bat eats its weight in bugs every night in the summer.
  • None of the nine resident species of bats are black!
  • Bats only have one or two babies per year.
  • Bats are the longest lived small mammal; many live to be over 18 years old.
  • Bats eat mosquitoes and insects that attack farmers’ crops
  • Over six million bats have died because of white-nose syndrome, the largest multispecies wildlife health issue in North American recorded history.

Registration is available with Parktakes Online or by calling 703-222-4664. Hidden Oaks Nature Center is located at 7701 Royce Street in Annandale, Va. For information, call 703-941-1065.

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