Nisqually to Paradise Delays
Road construction from the Nisqually Entrance to Longmire. Expect a 30-minute delay, Monday through Friday. More »
High Water & Inclement Weather Create Hazardous River Crossings
Several Wonderland trail bridges on the White River and Carbon River have been washed out by high water. Be advised that some crossings will need to be forded, and in some cases may be impassable while inclement conditions continue. More »
Bats are the only group of mammals capable of flight. Bat wings are made of double layers of skin stretched across a framework of modified finger bones and extend back to the legs. Bats are also well known for their excellent hearing. Mostly nocturnal, bats use echolocation to locate prey in the dark.
Bats - family Verspertilionidae
Dr. Lloyd Glenn Ingles © California Academy of Sciences
Big Brown Bat
Big Brown Bats have brown fur on the back and undersides, while the wings, face, and ears are mostly fur-less and black in color. They roost in tree cavities and under loose bark, as well as in buildings and other human structures. Big Brown Bats eat primarily beetles, foraging at heights of no more than 30 feet (9 meters), and are most active before dawn and at dusk.
©2005 William Leonard
Hoary Bats are one of the largest bat species found in the park with a wingspan of around 16 inches (40.6 cm), though a full-sized adult weighs less than 1.5 ounces. They have light brown to greyish fur on the back, belly, and upper surfaces of the feet and tail membrane. The fur is white-tipped, which gives the bats their "hoary" appearance. The throat and shoulders have yellowish, pale brown fur. Hoary Bats can be spotted around lakes, meadows, and open areas near coniferous forests. They hunt moths, flies, and beetles; and are most active well after dusk when all daylight has faded.
These bats have uniformly-colored light brown to dark brown fur, including a strip of fur on the underside of the wing from elbow to knee. Long-legged Bats prefer coniferous forests near water sources, and eat moths, flies, and beetles. In winter they hibernate in caves, while in summer they roost in trees, rock crevices, and buildings.
Silver-haired Bats have black fur, but their "silver" appearance comes from longer, white-tipped hairs on the back. These bats are found primarily in forests and forage relatively low to the ground, often over lakes and other water sources. They eat flies and moths.
©2005 William Leonard
Townsend's Big-eared Bat
Townsend's Big-eared Bats are logically named for their exceptionally large ears. The ears can be more than one-third the length of the body in size, usually around 1.5 inches long (3.8 cm). The ears connect in the middle over the forehead, and curl and fold up when the bat is at rest. The bats have light brown fur. They prefer open areas near coniferous forests, where they hunt along forest edges primarily for moths and are most active late at night.
Yuma Bats have brown to black fur on the back with paler undersides. They prefer meadows and open areas near water and much of their preferred food is made up of aquatic invertebrates, such as caddisflies, mayflies, and midges. These bats are active at dawn and dusk.
Did You Know?
For many years, the Paradise Ice Caves were a popular attraction at Mount Rainier. Until the 1980s, visitors could explore passages within the Paradise Glacier which had formed due to seasonal melting of the ice. By the early 1990s, climate change had melted away the last traces of the caves. More...