What is a maternity colony?

A bats’ maternity colony is comprised of adult females and their pups together with the occasional adult male. Actually pregnant females are those who form maternity colonies. Most of these colonies can be found in attics, barns, caves, and sheds to keep the pups warm and stay healthy.

What happens in maternity colonies?
The Little-babies are born in any season and the mothers change their usual habits and dedicate their entire time to cater for the pups. For the first month after birth, the pups can’t fly and depend on their mother for food. The mothers fly out to hunt at night and come back frequently to feed the young. They follow their mothers to learn hunting and survival techniques.

The maternity season
A bat’s pregnancy lasts around six and nine weeks depending on the species, climatic conditions, and availability of food. Normally, bats usually deliver a single baby in a year. The babies are nurtured carefully and kept close enough. They are suckled for roughly 4 to 5 weeks then start eating solid foods when they can fly.

Can they roost in your house?
Bats are tremendously sensitive and may abandon their pups if disturbed during this period. Dry and warm indoor spaces definitely provide the ideal conditions for a maternity roost. Bats will choose your lofts to breed, so, you just have to accommodate the maternity colony until the young are able to fly before you can strip off their nests and chase them away. Besides your house, they can also roost in trees. Trees are ideal in terms of foraging, they easily find insects. They will den in cavities and crevices since they can’t bore holes or make nests.

Are maternity roosts temporal?
As long as the breeding season is in place, maternity roosts will be available. However, after the period, the female bats vacate these roosts and join the rest. There are other types of bats roosts like:

• hibernation
• tree
• buildings
• underground

Bats require different roosting settings at different seasons of the year and they will regularly move from place to place to find a roost that meets their necessities. Some bats prefer hollow trees, others like caves while some use both at different times. Many bats will find shelter in roof spaces.

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