What is the summer maternity season?
There are several roosts depending on the time of the year and a particular season; they will therefore travel from one place to another in order to find the most appropriate roost for a particular season. Some of the bat species will prefer caves, under the bridges, abandoned mines, in buildings or even in trees provided that they are safe and away from their predators. In summer, the most common type of roost that you are likely to come across is the maternity roost; this is where pregnant females will always gather to have their babies. The summer season is therefore their safest maternity period.
Maternity roosts: The maternity roosts will only be created during the summer period when the weather gets warmer. The female bats will get together in places that are warm and safe to have their babies. They are not usually alone because there are certain male bats that usually act as their protectors from their respective colonies. The main function of the male is to ensure that the females are protected against any form of danger all the time. They only live the guarding zones at intervals during the night when they are going to search for food for the females and themselves.
The pregnancy of a bat will always last between six and nine weeks; but you have to know that the length of pregnancy of the bat entirely depends on certain factors:
- The species of the bat
- Availability of food
- Changes of weather and other climatic conditions
At the end of the maternity period, the bats will always give birth to a single baby but in rare condition a female bat can give birth to twins. After giving birth, they female bats will remain in their maternity roosts and take care of their babies until they are mature enough to take care of themselves.
The babies entirely depend on their mothers by suckling; the babies usually suckle for four to five weeks until they are old enough to start flying. When they are able to fly they are taught by their mothers how to hunt and when they can fully depend on themselves they will leave their mothers and find their own roosts.
The maternity roosts cease when the babies have fully matured; the female bats and their respective male move from the roost to find another safer roost. Bats are usually very sensitive during their maternity season and they will always react when they are disturbed. During these periods bats will also prefer lofts that are warm and dry because they are usually safer than open places. At the end of every maternity period the bats usually forage to search for food.
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