Due to the arrival of white nose syndrome, which claimed 90% of the bat population living in Twinsburg, most of the once common bat species were listed as endangered or threatened. The northern long-eared bat was once a common inhabitant of the Twinsburg environment but has not been captured in surveys by the Summit Metro Parks’ biologist since the devastating disease arrived. This last capture was in 2012.
This week a healthy individual of this species was captured in a net, along with healthy little brown bats (federally threatened), which provides hope that perhaps the bats will rebuild their population in our local area, where they do so much good in keeping insect populations in check. The long-eared bat was fitted with a tracking device to determine where it will travel to gain more valuable knowledge of this “federally threatened” species of our Ohio bats.
Thanks to a Boy Scout Eagle Project by Cameron Reed, several years ago, the purple martins are using the artificial gourd nest houses at Liberty Park. This year looks to be a successful one as adults are caring for young and even the local red-winged blackbirds are contributing. Red-winged blackbirds do not nest in these gourds but watch over their nests in the field, while perched on the gourd mast, where they can watch for hawks, crows and other predators, which by chance also protects the purple martins as they tend to their young.
This is the 3rd year that the purple martins have used these nesting gourds and eat many flying insects, which are their source of food. They will migrate south in huge numbers, these flocks often seen flying over the Lake Erie shoreline when insect time is done. Properly maintained nesting houses are critical to these birds, their numbers falling due to the intrusion of the invasive starling and house sparrow.