It was a warm, spring day, so our living room windows were open. Back home, we have this beautiful, wide-open window sill area with windows that crank open. I was upstairs in my room when I heard my mom let out the most horrifying scream. My sister and I bolted down the stairs to see what was wrong.
“A bat!” my mom shrieked. “There’s a bat stuck in the window.” Thankfully our windows have screens.
I looked up, and sure enough, there was a bat dangling in the left-hand corner of the window. The choir of shrieks coming from the three of us combined with the bat’s screams was deafening. My mom began to crank the window back open, and as she did the poor little bat fell to the ground.
We watched the bat from the safety of inside and I remember feeling sorry for it because I knew it was probably hurt. My mom told us we had to stay inside in case the bat had rabies. Later on, we went outside to see if the bat was still on the ground, but it was nowhere to be found.
These bats hang from the ceiling of a cave.
Our screams probably scared the bat more than it scared us.
This memory was brought to the surface the moment I stepped foot in the Berkshire Museum’s latest exhibition, Bats: Creatures of the Night.
Although there are no live bats in the museum (yet!) the jarred bats and the life-like models are incredible to look at. However, I am not sure if a gray-headed flying fox looks as cuddly in real life as its model does in the museum.
A gray-headed flying fox hangs onto a branch in the greenery with its feet.
The exhibition’s main purpose is to educate viewers on the nature of bats through videos, signs, and fun activities for all.
In one corner of the exhibit, there are two cave models that demonstrate how a bat knows how far away an object is. Call into one end of the tunnel and then listen at the other end. Do the same thing with the other side. Is there a difference in the sound by the time it reaches your ears?
There is also a set of large vampire-bat ears you can try on for size. These special ears magnify sounds to be like what a bat hears. I think I should invest in a pair of these bat ears since I can never hear what anybody says to me.
Does your hearing improve with these ears on your head?
My favorite thing to look at is the different homes of bats model. Kids will easily be able to spot the bats hidden in tiny holes in attic ceilings and crevices in cave walls, while the adults will have to crouch down to see these secret hiding places.
You will also learn some cool facts about bats and what myths are true or not. Did you know that a bat eats 600 insects an hour?
Bats: Creatures of the Night is truly a fun exhibit to learn about a little creature that rules the night skies.
Visit the Berkshire Museum tomorrow, January 19 between noon and 5 p.m., for a day full of batty activities for the opening of Bats: Creatures of the Night.