It’s migration season for bats. Some bats don’t go very far throughout the year, but others may travel hundreds of miles to winter farther south (as Eastern Red Bats do) or to hibernate below ground (as Little Brown Bats do). Along their journey, bats can turn up in some random places – like clinging to window screens or buildings, inside parking garages, etc. They’re usually solitary and may rest in place for several days before continuing their journey. We are trying to learn more about the migration paths that bats follow from “here” to “there.” You can help!
Please share any bat sightings with our Endangered and Nongame Species Program by using the NJ Wildlife Tracker web app: https://dep.nj.gov/njfw/wildlife-tracker-app/
All bat species are of interest; just take a few good photos so we can identify the one you saw. (It’s ok if you guess wrong in the Tracker app – we can fix the species ID.) Please do not disturb or touch any bats you may find.
Learn more about bats in NJ: https://dep.nj.gov/njfw/conservation/bat-conservation/
Reporting your wildlife sightings: https://dep.nj.gov/njfw/conservation/reporting-rare-wildlife-sightings/
NJ Wildlife Tracker: https://dep.nj.gov/njfw/wildlife-tracker-app/
A Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinereus) spotted roosting from a low tree branch at Island Beach State Park, 9/29/21. Photo by Rich Baumann.
A pair of Eastern Red Bats (Lasiurus borealis) found on a sidewalk in Hunterdon Co., 9/5/23. Fall is also mating season for bats – but this was not a smart place to be doing that! Pedestrians kindly steered clear and the bats eventually flew off. Photo by Liz Johnson.
An Eastern Red Bat (Lasiurus borealis) seen during a whale-watching tour on 8/22/23, flying 90 miles offshore of NJ! Photo by Tom Reed.