Colony of bats spotted on Georgia radar

Doppler radar in Valdosta, GA spotted this interesting expanding donut-shaped feature in southeast Georgia earlier this week.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A sight fit for Halloween this week across south Georgia — an odd ring showing up on doppler radar in Valdosta. The skies were dry. There was no fog. 

So, what caused the expanding donut-shaped feature? It definitely wasn’t precipitation.

The answer is simple: BATS, and a LOT of them!

Radar echoes can detect much more than just rain. It can track smoke plumes and hail, but also animal migrations like birds, insects, and even bats.

On Monday evening, a colony of bats in Coffee County was headed out into the night sky for dinner! The radar echoes captured them coming out of their nests and dispersing to find food.

Forecasters are able to differentiate between birds and bats based on the pattern of movement and timing. Birds, for example, will usually leave their nests in the morning hours. This week’s instance happened in the evening around sunset.

The National Weather Service in Jacksonville posted a GIF of the bat spotting on Twitter.

According to the University of Florida, bats normally emerge during a 15 to 20 minute period after sunset, before it turns totally dark outside. They prefer warm, calm evenings when temperatures are above 65F. High winds, heavy rain, or cold temperatures will deter the bats from leaving their nests.

If you’ve never visited the UF Bat Houses, it’s quite the experience and attracts hundreds of people every year! Here’s what it looks like when they leave their houses at dusk.

Here’s an inside view of a UF Bat House. Creepy or cool? We’ll let you decide. Happy Halloween!

The Coffee County bats also made an appearance on radar in August of 2021.

Here are a list of BAT PUNS for your entertainment: 

  1. What is the first thing bats learn in school? The alphabat.
  2. What do you get when you cross a vampire bat and a computer? Love at first byte.
  3. How do vampires flirt? They bat their eyes.
  4. Best way to hold a bat? By the handle.
  5. What do you get when you cross a vampire holding an ice cube? Frost bite.
  6. How does a vampire bake a cake? They use bat-ter.
  7. What did the bat say to his friend? “I think you’re bloody brilliant.”
  8. What did the spontaneous bat say? “I’m just winging it!”

RELATED: LIST 🎃 How to celebrate the spooky season across the First Coast

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