Today, K arrived home and excitedly asked me to come see what she had just found. A bat! K grew up around here and had not seen one in this area before. I double checked to make sure it wasn't April 1st, then went with her to the garage where, trough the open window, we watched this bat sleeping on our wall.
I don't know what kind it is. It is quite small at only about 6 cm in length (less than 2 1/2 inches). Perhaps it eats flying insects. I think it is too big to be one that eats nectar. Anyway, it's welcome to "hang out" here. Bats have an important place in the ecosystem. Fruit bats (which are usually quite large like the ones we've seen in Fiji and in Japan are only found in the far southern islands of Okinawa Prefecture) spread seeds. Insect eating bats control the population of plant eating insects, and nectar eaters are valuable for their pollination function. All of them help to preserve forests.
Since I moved here (almost five years ago) we've seen an increase in wildlife - birds, snakes, frogs, insects, and now bats! Very encouraging. I hope the area doesn't get overbuilt and enough wild patches remain to be a home for these creatures.