The San Juan Island Library has a new-generation bat detector available for check out.
Bat detectors convert the ultrasonic calls bats make into audio which we humans can hear, enabling us to identify different species and to note various behavioral patterns. Much of this can be done without ever seeing the bats.
The detector is a donation of the local non-profit organization, Kwiaht, and was made available by generous contribution from individual donors on Lopez Island and a deep discount by the British distributor, BatBox, Ltd. The Baton bat detector is available for use at home or in the field to those with library accounts in good standing, so that you may listen to, learn about, value, and protect local bats.
According to Kwiaht’s web site, nine species of bats have been documented in the San Juan Islands, although little is known about their distribution or the health of the populations.
For more information about local bats, contact Russel Barsh, Kwiaht director; the website is www.kwiaht.org. To learn about bats, check out America's Neighborhood Bats by Merlin D. Tuttle or Bats of British Columbia by David W. Nagorsen and R. Mark Brigham.
In addition to its collections of books, audio books and DVDS to loan, the library also provides computers for the public to use. The library website provides 24/7 resources on consumer, financial and academic information, language learning, and test preparation. Library hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Library cards are free to island residents with proof of residency.