Bats in the Belfry, and the Driveway, and the Light Fixture

Alecia Kennedy
3 min readSep 25, 2022

A tribute to one of the world’s most misunderstood mammals

Author’s photo of baby bat from driveway on rehabber’s thumb

It is dusk and I’m sitting out on my patio in front of the firepit as I do several nights a week. Dozens of bats can be seen flying above me, erratically dipping and diving and swooping but never running into each other. Sometimes there are great swarms of these night creatures in my neighborhood that make me think of horror movies or biblical plagues, but most of the time I only see a couple dozen or so. I don’t see them for long, as the sky darkens they disappear — or perhaps they simply become invisible to my middle-aged human eyes.

I know that bat populations in my state have declined drastically in recent years due to white-nose syndrome, but I would never have suspected it from my personal interactions with bats over the past couple of years.

In the summer of 2020, my youngest daughter and I found a baby bat in the driveway of the house we were temporarily calling home, after my eighteen year marriage fell apart. I was a newly single mom, door-dashing for cash and homeschooling during a pandemic. The last thing I needed was to find help for a baby bat that had likely fallen from the eaves of the 80-year old house we were renting.