BY JEANETTE LENOIR
Don’t worry, it’s not a bat out of hell. It’s just a bat on the hill. Wild animals are coming out of the woods and into our cities and towns as we hunker down for the dreadful Coronavirus to pass us by. Wildlife is making a comeback, no doubt thinking all the pesky critters who call themselves humans have left their beautiful planet. Sike! We’re still here suckers and hopefully staying for a long, long time. All kidding aside, the planet belongs to all of us, including those who don’t take the Metro to work.
As you carefully make your way outside, adhering to Coronavirus safety guidelines, take the time to look around you because you may just run into an unfamiliar visitor who normally inhabits places where they don’t have run-ins with people. Folks in the DMV area have been reporting numerous sightings of all sorts of animals. Foxes, coyotes, otters, beavers, and even bobcats and eagles have been spotted throughout the C & O Canal National Historic Park and other areas.
Making my usual trek around the National Mall, I ran into a strange looking critter napping in broad daylight on Capitol Hill. It was the most beautiful bat I’ve ever seen. As I turned into an irritating paparazzi, the little fellow barely took notice of me or my camera. So, I snapped away from different angles doing my best not to wake it up. I did a little research on bat species in the Washington, DC area and learned that my little sleepy buddy, whom I named Little North Yellow, is a Northern Yellow Bat. Although I’m not a Chiropterologist, it matched the description of this particular bat species.
Additional information on Wikipedia states they are, “primarily found along the coastal regions of the southeastern United States and eastern Texas, Cuba, coastal Mexico, and Central American countries of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. This is the most abundant bat species in some regions of Florida. This species has a few occurrence records from Virginia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.”
Is it the first sighting of this particular bat species in DC? Who knows? Either way, I’m pretty sure he’s not to blame for spreading Coronavirus, despite the nasty rumors. Besides, he’s really cute and a welcome site for lonely eyes stuck in solitude during quarantine.