Bats About Our Town

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Bat Walks

No upcoming Bat Walks.

You can take yourself out to the Woodard Bay Natural Area and watch a colony of bats fly out at sunset every June and July evening!

Bats About Our Town members give talks about bats at places like the public library during the school year.  These will be announced below a few months before the date of each talk.   You can also request a talk for your group.  The topics included in a typical talk are:

  • Basic information about bats
  • Our local bats
  • Bat Houses:  how to position them successfully

Please contact us to request more information about talks or to request a special talk for your group.

Bat Walks

A biologist specializing in bats leads bat walks at Capitol Lake in June and July.  You can also request a special bat walk for your group. We gather along the Deschutes Parkway at sunset for a talk about bats and to see early arriving bats.  Then we walk along the lake, using bat detectors to hear the large number of bats arriving in the hour after sunset. Finally we return to a viewing spot where a video camera and a monitor permit us to see bats feeding above the lake.  Read A Night at Capitol Lake for a description of typical summertime bat activity.

  • No walks scheduled for 2021.

Bat walk schedule:

NOTE:  Bat walks will be canceled if there is steady rain, because most bats stay at home if it rains.

Location of bat walks:

  • Deschutes Parkway on the west side of Capitol Lake on the sidewalk half way between Marathon Park to the south and the 5th Avenue Bridge to the north.  Look for the crowd!

Reaching the Bat Walks from I-5:

  1. From I-5 use exit 105 and follow the signs to State Capitol, not the signs to Port of Olympia.  You will go under an overpass, and come to a light on Capitol Way.
  2. Go right on Capitol Way and follow it north to 5th Avenue. Make a left onto 5th Avenue.  The previous street will be Legion Way.
  3. On 5th, stay in the left hand lane.  You soon will be passing Capitol Lake and a park on your left. 
  4. Stay in the left hand lane, which curves to the left and becomes Deschutes Parkway. The right hand lane is a ramp up to a bridge, don’t take it!
  5. Follow instructions above for Deschutes Parkway.

Create Your Own Bat Walk at the Lake

  • Bring a pair of binoculars with good light-gathering capacity. 
  • Arrive ten minutes before sunset (for the guided tour people come earlier in order to hear an interpretive talk)
  • Position yourself at lamppost 39 along the Deschutes Parkway, near the bus stop shelter halfway between the 4th and 5th Avenue Bridges and Marathon Park.  Look west up at the ridge to see Big Brown Bats arriving.
  • As the light fades, walk north along the lake, noticing any bats that zoom past the lampposts as they approach the lake.
  • Cross Fifth and Fourth Avenues to arrive at the walkway by Bayview Thriftway that terminates at the Fourth Avenue Bridge, and look for bats flying low along the boulders and then under the bridge.
  • Return to the Deschutes Parkway, going to lamppost 43.  To see bats hunting insects, train your binoculars on the large rectangle of light cast by the hotel.

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