Bat Activity Trends

A Woodland Park Zoo Community Science Program

How it Works


The Bat Activity Trends (BAT) program involves going out to observe bats, right in your own neighborhood. You can participate from a yard, patio, balcony or even a window with a clear view of the sky! Alternatively, find a nearby park or take a walk for 30 minutes starting at or just after sunset during bats' peak active months (June-August). You will watch for bats, record what you see and submit the data to help create a visualization map of the levels of bat activity in our region.


About Northwest Bats

Bats are a common wildlife species across Washington state, including urban areas, but their nocturnal habits mean that people often don’t notice them. Taking the time to learn how to observe bats can change that! We are empowering YOU to become a community scientist while learning more about local bat species and bat conservation issues.

Why are bats important? Where do they live? Are there bats in my neighborhood? How do I know when there is a bat in the sky above me? Learn the answers to these questions and help us answer the question: Where and when are bats active around western Washington?


BAT Program Summary Reports

Thank you to everyone who participated in our first summer of the Bat Activity Trends Program!

2023 BAT Program Summary Report
2022 BAT Program Summary Report

What is Our Goal?


The Bat Activity Trends map will provide an understandable visualization of where bat activity is high and low across our region. This map will help us understand where bats are found, and help us ask and further investigate questions about the activity of bats in western Washington.

Community Goals

  • Raise awareness of the importance of bats in our ecosystem
  • Introduce people to safe and fun bat observations
  • Overcome myths and misconceptions about bats in a way that leads to more positive perceptions and improved coexistence
  • Create an increased connection with nature and community
  • Empower participation in community science
  • Encourage further participation and leadership in community science

Science Goals

  • Better understand the activity levels of bats in different parts of our region
  • Increase awareness of threats to bats including White-nose syndrome and actions people can take to prevent its spread
  • Create a baseline for year-to-year comparisons of bat activity
  • Better understand the range of local bat species
  • Share basic information about bat activity with other local bat conservation projects

Who Can Participate


This Program is Open to Everyone!

Anyone 13 years old and older can participate individually and create a free online FieldScope account to submit data. Those under 13 years old can participate with their family or team with someone over 13 years old to submit their data. Our program focuses on building a map of participants' data from King County, but we accept data submissions from anywhere in the United States.

On Your Own or with Family and Friends

Use the resources provided on this page to participate in a self-guided bat observation in your neighborhood. Download our participation packet to learn more about bats, how to collect and submit data, how to help conserve bats in Washington and more!

With a Community Group

New to community science or looking for extra guidance? Come to one of our in-person events held in the summer throughout the King County area. 

Collecting & Submitting Data


Be a Part of Bat Conservation in Our Region!

This program aims to provide a simple and accessible way to contribute to our community science data collection efforts.

You can use Fieldscope, our online data submission portal on a phone, tablet or laptop. Start by creating a free login before your observation night, then fill out the form as you go. Or you can download and print our data collection form, and use that to complete the simple questions about the location, time, date and what you see.


Join the Project

Create your free FieldScope account!
Collect and submit your data directly in a FieldScope form.

Create your account and join the project

Resources for Participation

Spanish captions are available for all videos below. The captions can be auto translated via the video settings in YouTube if you would like captions in other languages.

Participating with Your Family?

Download our kid-friendly participation packet and data collection sheet to help you keep younger bat-watchers engaged while you wait for our bats to arrive (because patience is key!). We have activity pages, book recommendations for bat-fans of all ages, and family friendly podcasts to put on while you and your family scan the night sky.



Want to learn more about bats and participate in local bat conservation?

Check out our events page for a list of fun upcoming bat events!


Take Action for Bats


Here are more ways you can help bats and other wildlife!

Check out these bat conservation groups to learn more about bats:



The Bat Activity Trends (BAT) program is organized by Woodland Park Zoo and our partners:

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Logo
Bats Northwest Logo

Our Mission

Woodland Park Zoo saves wildlife and inspires everyone to make conservation a priority in their lives.

Land Acknowledgment

Woodland Park Zoo recognizes that these are the lands of the Tribal signatories of the Treaty of Point Elliott. We acknowledge their stewardship of this place continues to this day and that it is our responsibility to join them to restore the relationship with the living world around us.

5500 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98103   |  206.548.2500  |

Association of Zoos & Aquariums
Seattle Parks & Recreation
Humane Certification