Indiana bats live an average of 5 to 9 years, but some have reached 14 years of age.
Conserve Wildlife Blog
Learn about our work with New Jersey's rarest residents!
Welcome to the Bat Cam, made possible by the Williams family of Flemington!
This live-action camera captures a colony of big brown bats living in an upstairs window at the family’s home. The bats’ unusual choice of a summer roost has given this family a unique peek at their lives, from knowing exactly when the bats return from hibernation each spring, to watching them give birth and care for their pups though the summer. Now you can watch, too!
CWF is thrilled that this Bat Cam can now be viewed for free at home, giving you an up-close and personal look at these amazing mammals.
Bat Cam News!
Bat Cam Update 2017
This year the batcam window got an upgrade thanks in large part to our sponsors, Cooper Pest Solutions and EarthColor. Our team installed a nice new guano catcher as well as some new screening to help keep the window clean for our bats and give them a new place to hang out during the days.
The bats returned early this year due to the unseasonably warm weather in March. This years weather pattern has been a bit odd which has changed the roosting activities of our bats a bit. The bats have been taking breaks from being in the window during various cold and hot spurts throughout the season. In April when the weather got cooler the bats left for a period, and they left for 2 weeks in June when the weather got too warm. As of July 13th there were 20+ bats in the window, seemingly very happy with the new improvements to their home. We were also able to see some banded bats back in the window, returning from previous years. Currently it seems the bats have taken a break from being in the batcam window, probably due to the heat again. Next year our team hopes to get a temperature logger in the window to keep track of the changes to the colony based on the weather. Our team hopes to band the batcam bats live again this year on August 1, as long as the bats return to the window by then. Keep checking back on the website and our Facebook page for updates about the live banding!
Update: This year the bats did not return to the window by August 1st, the date we had hoped to band the colony live. As of now the bats are still not back in the window, so our team will look to band the colony again next year.
July 26, 2016
Tonight, at 8pm on our Facebook page, tune in to watch CWF Biologist Stephanie Feigin and ENSP Biologist MacKenzie Hall survey and band big brown bats. It will be broadcast on this page with more interaction on our Facebook page. It is their last survey of the season, so make sure to tune for this once in a lifetime opportunity to learn more about work being done to manage bats in New Jersey. Viewers are encouraged to ask questions that our biologists will be able to answer during and after the live stream.
May 10, 2016: The BatCam Bats are Back!
Early April 2016, the BatCam bats returned to their roost in the window of the Williams’ home. As of now, it seems that only part of the colony has returned — about 20 bats. We can see that some of the returning bats were banded last year! (More information here about the banding last year, we can link to press articles, how do you band a bat)
We even have some juveniles (banded with red bands, adults banded with silver) that have returned to the roost with their moms from last year!
Stay tuned for more updates throughout the season as the rest of the colony returns and the moms give birth to their pups come June.
The photo shows a juvenile banded last year that has returned to the roost!
August 14, 2015
BatCam bats return! After the banding night, the BatCam bats left for a few weeks but the bats returned August 14, 2015, by the end of the night 3 bats had returned to the window. It now looks like most of the bats have come back and the window is again full of bats!
Check out a clip of the bats return:
July 21, 2015
Banding the BatCam Bats! Today Stephanie Feigin and MacKenzie Hall (ENSP) banded the BatCam bats for the first time! The team safely caught the bats as they were emerging from the window and placed them into mesh holding bags for processing. All of the bats were weighed, measured, and banded (red for juveniles and silver for adults). We banded a total of 48 bats!
Here is a great clip from the night:
Check out the article from NJ.com and some great photos from the banding night here!
June 19, 2015
The bat cam bats give birth! Over the past two weeks some of the bat cam bats have given birth to their pups. The first bat gave birth on June 8th at around 4pm. Since then other bats have also given birth to their pups and our bat cam was able to catch the live births!
Here is our favorite clip of a momma bat giving birth to her pup.
And check out this article about the baby bats from NJ.com: Baby Bats Born on NJ Batcam
April 8, 2015
The bats have returned! The first bats returned April 2, 2015 at 8:18pm on one of the warmer days we have had so far this year. The temperature that day was a high of 66 degrees and a low of 25 degrees with clear skies and minimal wind. So far all of the bats have not returned yet, but we expect the rest of them to return in the next few weeks.
Here is a clip of the return of the first few bats:
Keep checking back for the return of the rest of the colony and more updates!
December 18, 2014
The last bat finally left for the winter on December 16, 2014, the first night of Hanukkah! Make sure to check back in the spring for the bats' arrival!
December 16, 2014: Last bat leaves for the winter
December 16, 2014
Welcome to the first year of the Flemington Bat Cam made possible by the Williams family! Though the Bat Cam has only been live on our website for a few months now, it has already captured the attention of many viewers and was featured on ABC 7 Eyewitness News on November 17, 2014. Check out the story here.
Though the Bat Cam is new, the bats roosting in the window are not. In 2006, the Williams' family of Flemington noticed that 5 bats had shown up in the window of their son’s bedroom. Each year the family noticed an increase in the number of bats returning to the window in the spring. For the first 4 years, there were less than 10 bats, then up to 20 bats by 2010 and this year the roost has grown to 30+ bats in the window!
Over the years, the family has learned a lot from these bats, and has enjoyed the chance to watch their daily lives. They have noticed that the each of the bats have their own personalities, “some argue more than others, some huddle together like families, and it is always funny to see them tip head-up and walk side-to-side on the screen, before settling back upside down when they are comfy,” said Matt Williams. In 2013, the family decided to share these wonderful house guests with everyone by posting clips every so often on their YouTube channel and later putting in the live webcam in March 2014.
In October 2014, the Bat Cam was made the live on our website during my #31daysofbats campaign and just in time for Halloween!
On November 26, 2014, the bats left for their winter hibernacula (all except one). The temperature that day was 38 degrees F with light rain, wind 11 mph, 90% humidity. The bats left right before our first snow storm of the season.
As of now, there is still one bat snuggled up in the top corner of the window, updates will follow if this changes. Make sure to check back in the spring for the bats' return to their summer roost in Flemington!
Bat-Tastic Clips and Photos:
April 6, 2015: Bats do the morning dance! The first bats of 2015 in the morning.
June 29, 2014: Baby bat in the window!
July 10, 2014: Preening, stretching, scratching, and chatting
July 25, 2014: The gang's all here - a quiet morning before the storm
November 17, 2014: ABC 7 Eyewitness News comes to meet the bats!
Stephanie Feigin, Wildlife Ecologist:
Find Related Info: Bats
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