Butte Falls bat wins BLM annual Bat Beauty Contest

BUTTE FALLS, Ore. – A big-eared bat from Butte falls took home the crown in the annual Bureau of Land Management Bat Beauty Contest.

BLM says William ShakespEAR, a Townsend’s big-eared bat, took the crown Tuesday afternoon during the final round of judging.  William was photographed by BLM wildlife technician Emma Busk.

“William is actually a female!” said Busk. “Townsend’s big-eared bats form maternity colonies in the spring before they have their pups. Unlike other bats in Oregon, Townsend’s big-eared bats have very specialized habitat requirements. They need open space where they can roost in caves.”

Each year, the BLM hosts a bat beauty contest to showcase bats photographed on its public lands.  The contest begins October 24 and ends on Halloween.

Last year, a canyon bat from Lake County was named winner.

The BLM says Townsend’s big-eared bats can be found across Oregon and Washington and are extremely vulnerable to human disturbance.  BLM wildlife biologists perform checks on Oregon caves to keep an eye on bat populations and keep an eye out for fatal diseases like white-nose syndrome.

“It’s important that we fact check what we think we know about bats,” said Busk. “There are a lot of myths around bats, but they’re amazing wildlife and they contribute so much to our ecosystem.”

© 2024 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.

Taylar Ansures is a producer and reporter for NBC5 News. Taylar is from Redding, California and went to California State University, Chico. After graduating, she joined KRCR News Channel 7 in Redding as a morning producer. She moved to Southern Oregon in 2022 to be closer to family and became KTVL News 10’s digital producer. Taylar is currently finishing her Master's Degree in Professional Creative Writing through the University of Denver. In her free time, Taylar frequents independent bookstores and explores hiking trails across Southern Oregon and Northern California.
Skip to content