The Bats of Mackinac Island

Squirrels, chipmunks, mice, move over. Bats are the most abundant mammal on Mackinac Island. The island's protected limestone caves make an ideal bat roost, and a fresh hatch of mosquitoes each night keeps the winged marvels well fed. And lucky for you, summer island hopper, it takes a lot of mosquitoes to serve up a good meal — 600 mosquitoes per hour for one bat, which, using its echolocation system to forage, dines several hours each night. So unless you find yourself in a mosquito hatch at 2 a.m., there's no need to work yourself into a case of bat phobia while on Mackinac. And during the day, you'll know whom to thank for the blissful lack of those pesky bloodsuckers.

Monterey Wheeler is calendar editor of Traverse, Northern Michigan's Magazine.