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Please note ‘Santa at the Castle’ is now fully booked and we have a waiting list. We wish everyone a very merry Christmas and look forward to welcoming you all to the museum in 2017.

We were very saddened to hear the recent death of Peter Nolan, one of weekly restoration volunteers. Peter was one of the first volunteers who joined us at the Irish agriculture Museum in early 2014, and was involved in many … Continue reading

The Museum Bat Colony

bats2 low res

Bats hanging in roof of museum.

 

The museum building provides a nursery roost for one of the largest colonies of soprano pipistrelle bats in the country. The female bats come into the museum in the Spring to roost and to produce and rear their young. Bats are unusual in that breeding pairs mate in the autumn but the young are not born until the summer. This is known as ‘delayed implantation’. The babies or ‘pups’ are born naked and blind but their fur soon appears and covers their bodies and their eyes are open within a few days. They depend on their mother for the first six weeks.

Last year, we carried out regular bat counts throughout the spring / summer season. Counting bats involves standing outside the roost for an hour after dusk and recording the numbers of individuals exiting the building in ten minute intervals. The bats return to our building following hibernation in early spring.

2017 results:-

20 February: First soprano pipestrelles emerge from hibernation and are detected flying pre-dawn during a mild spell of weather.

2016 results as follows:-

14 April:  116

21 April:  321

5 May: 714 (NB a record number counted)

12 May: 433

26 May: 647

2 June: 605

9 June: 575 (NB first pups now born so some adults are remaining in the roost at night to feed pups and baby-sit!).

16 June: 507

28 July: 383 (colony is now dispersing)

8 Aug: 291

18 Aug: 266

23 Aug: 203

8 Sept: 121

15 Sept:  93

22 Sept:  23

6 Oct:  10

10 Oct:  3

For more info on bats in Ireland go to:- http://www.batconservationireland.org/

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