Nocturne Chiroptera

A walk outside at night reveals that something is missing: bats.

I am a pianist. In my entire classical music collection, I do not believe there is a single composition written for a bat. I could be wrong, of course, because history rarely records the inspiration behind the songs. But if I had the talent for composing, I’d create an ode to the bats, a species whose order is named Chiroptera.

PA Game Commission bat photo
Photo credit: PA Game Commission –

The scene would be at night. The rhythm would be fast and jazzy, a darting cadence that switches between long glides and staccatos. And the key might be b-flat-minor or f-sharp, something high pitched and rather peculiar.

You see, bats need us to care enough to write a song for them, especially where I live. For one, they are disappearing. As many as 98% of some of Pennsylvania’s bats have died due to illness. For another, they are (were) responsible for the disappearance of millions of mosquitoes each night. And now, after being implicated in the Covid-19 pandemic, those that remain really need some positive public relations work.

Read more of what I’ve written about the importance of bats, the reasons why we are losing them, and what you can do to help in the latest newsletter from the Lehigh Valley Audubon Society.

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