Found a Bat?

Central Oregon Bats

Central Oregon is home to a large number of insectivorous bat species. Bats are excellent at controlling insect populations - a single adult bat can eat over 1,000 insects per hour!

DO NOT handle bats with bare hands - they are rabies vector species and can carry and transfer rabies without exhibiting symptoms! If you or your pet has had contact with a bat, contact your doctor or veterinarian.

Orphaned bats can sometimes be reunited with their parents. 

Injured bats should be brought to Think Wild for care. 

DO NOT offer food or water to injured or orphaned wildlife! 

Bats should not typically found on the ground, especially in the winter or during daylight hours. If you find a bat on the ground, observe from a distance to look for signs of illness or injury. 

Below are tips for what to do if you find an injured or orphaned bat.

Little Brown Bat Oregon

Orphaned Bats

  • Young bats are extremely hard to hand rear successfully, and bats do a far better job of raising their pups than bat carers.
  • Please note that many Central Oregon bat species are very small - baby bats are born pink and hairless and grow a thin "peach fuzz" before reaching maturity. Adult bats are notably furry in comparison. 

 

Reunite Instructions

If baby bat is UNINJURED:

  • Choose a spot close to where the bat was found, where the mother can find it. Do not place them under the roost. 
  • Place a large piece of cardboard on a slanted surface (like a step ladder) and place a towel or similar material on the cardboard.
  • Place a water bottle with hot water in between the cardboard and towel for heat support while attempting to reunite.
  • Place a barrier around the cardboard so the pup cannot leave the area. An example of this would be foam pipe insulation material. 
  • The parent may show little interest initially but may begin to investigate about an hour later. Once they begin to investigate the parent will sometimes retrieve the pup within 5-15 minutes.
  • Continue this process for a minimum of 5 hours, until successfully reunited.
    • Important note: Pups are often collected on the second  or third night of attempting to reunite.
    • Please contact the Think Wild hotline for guidance during this process - 541-241-8680.
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Bat Found on Ground

If the bat is UNINJURED: 

  • Create a temporary perch for the bat using an empty paper towel tube.
  • Put a crumpled up paper towel into one end of the paper towel tube.
  • Use a piece of duct tape over the paper towel end to secure the paper towel.
  • Add a piece of string to the same end of the tube as the paper towel so you can hang the tube.
  • Place the open end over the bat and give it time to crawl up to the paper towel "perch".
  • Hang the tube on the north, shady side of a tree or building.
  • Check on the bat in the morning.

 

If the bat is INJURED: 

  • Gently place a small box or tube over the bat and slide a piece of paper under the box and flip the box over and cover the top to safely contain.
  • If the animal is too alert, please contact the Think Wild hotline and we can discuss other methods of capture. 
  • If after hours, please continue to monitor the animal so we can assess the situation during Think Wild operating hours. 

You can support native bat populations in Central Oregon by installing a bat box! 

Purchase a Bat Box

If you are having issues with bats, please reach out to our Humane Wildlife Services program. Please note that we cannot legally perform bat exclusions during breeding season - June-August.  

If a bat is trapped inside your home: 

  • Open the exit that bat came through, close any other escape routes, turn off the lights and leave the room. The bat will most likely fly out on its own. 
  • Cover any entrance sites (i.e vents, holes, chimneys, etc.) when they leave to hunt for the night.