Bat – Barbastelle

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Barbastelle Bat

The barbastelle is very rare, found in southern and central England and Wales. Their calls sound like short, hard smacks, in fast and then slower pulses. Echolocation can be heard at approximately 32 kHz.

Barbastelle are fast, agile flyers and forage amongst trees swooping to drink from ponds or lakes. But they may also forage in quite open areas.

They are relatively tolerant of the cold, and are found in caves, tunnels, cellars and trees. In the UK they are also known to roost in cavities behind joints of timber-framed buildings, between close fitting roof timbers and in hollow tree trunks. Occasionally they can be found behind loose bark on dead trees, and movement between winter roosts is quite frequent, they have been known to fly and forage in mild spells all winter.

The barbastelle is a medium-sized bat, distinctive by its pug-shaped nose. The ears are broad, joined across its head by skin, and covered in gingery-brown fur on the rear surface. Its body fur is dark with lighter tips on the back. Its head and body length is 40mm –50mm and wingspan 260mm – 290mm. The barbastelle weighs 6g – 13g.

Females usually reach sexual maturity in their second year, although they have been known to mate in their first. Nursery roosts are usually with only 10-20 females plus babies. Baby bats are usually born in July, sometimes even in early August. Females usually produce a single baby, but occasionally twins. Juvenile bats can fly at about 3 weeks, and by 6 weeks can forage for themselves. Once the young can fly it seems that the colony may sometimes divide into smaller units and then gather at a single roost in late July – sometimes in one of the roosts used before the young were born.

Barbestelle feed mainly on small moths, some flies and beetles.

In Britain all bat species and their roosts are legally protected, by both domestic and international legislation.

Many thanks to the Bat Conservation Trust for allowing us to take this information; for more detailed reading please visit their website.

Photo Credit: © Copyright Bat Conservation Trust

www.bats.org.uk

Bat – Bechstein’s

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Bechstein's Bat

The Bechstein’s bat (Myotis bechsteinii) is one of the UK’s rarest bats, found mainly in woodland habitat in south Wales and south England. It has very quiet echolocation so hard to detect. The frequency is 50kHz, and the call sounds like ‘tik’.

Bechstein’s bats tend to forage in woodland within a kilometre or two of their roost site, generally high up in the canopy although they can be seen near the ground when drinking, commuting or socialising.

This bat uses deciduous woodland for roosting, foraging and almost certainly hibernation. mature dense woodland is ideal, ensuring that Bechstein’s do not often come into contact with people. In summer, the Bechstein’s bat roosts largely in woodpecker holes, although sometimes behind loose bark or in tree crevices (also occasionally in bat boxes). It rarely roosts in buildings. It is also occasionally found in underground sites.

The bechstein is a medium-sized bat, distinctive by its long ears and its pink face. It’s body colour is pale to reddish brown and greyish underneath. The length of the head and body is 43mm – 53mm and it has a wingspan of 250mm – 300mm. It weighs 7g – 13g and has been recorded as living up to 21 years.

Mating occurs in autumn and spring, with maternity colonies forming in April and May. Females gather in colonies of between 10 and 30 bats (and up to 100 in some cases), with babies born at the end of June to the beginning of July. Maternity colonies are often spread across a number of roost sites, changing their location frequently throughout the summer.

Like other the long-eared bats, the bechstein captures much of its prey by passive listening for insect noise. It eats prey from most insect groups like dung flies, grasshoppers, nut weevils, as well as moths and other types of flies.

In Britain all bat species and their roosts are legally protected, by both domestic and international legislation.

Many thanks to the Bat Conservation Trust for sharing this information; for more detailed reading please visit their website below.

Photo Credit: © Copyright Bat Conservation Trust

www.bats.org.uk

Bat – Brandt’s

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Brandt’s Bat

The Brandt’s bat (Myotis brandtii) is found throughout England and Wales and has only recently been recorded in Ireland as well. Brandt’s bats echolocate between 33kHz and 89kHz, sounding loudest at 45kHz. Their calls sound like dry clicks.

They have a rapid and skillful flight,flying at a medium height and often within woodland. They occasionally pick their prey off foliage and often feed near water.

They are found in all types of houses including some modern ones, but particularly in older buildings with stone walls and slate roofs. It is a crevice dweller, often roosting until hanging tiles, above soffits, in cavity walls and under ridge tiles. Brandt’s bats do roost in trees and churches, and have been known to use bat boxes. In winter Brandt’s bats are regularly found hibernating in caves and tunnels, almost always in small numbers – it is uncertain where the majority of them hibernate.

The Brandt’s bat is a small species with a somewhat shaggy fur. It is very similar to the whiskered bat and is difficult to tell them apart. The colour of the fur is dark grey or brown and has golden tips on the back. Its head and body length is 28mm – 50mm and the wingspan is 210mm – 240mm. The weight of this bat is 4.5g – 9.5g.

Some females reach sexual maturity at three months (in their first autumn) but the majority do not mate until their second autumn. Mating usually takes place in autumn, but has been observed in all winter months. Adult females form maternity colonies in the summer, giving birth to their single young in June or early July. The baby is fed solely on its mother’s milk:
by three weeks it can fly and by six weeks it can forage for itself.

Brandt’s bats mainly feed on moths, other small insects and spiders.

In Britain all bat species and their roosts are legally protected, by both domestic and international legislation.

Many thanks to the Bat Conservation Trust for sharing this information; for more detailed reading please visit their website below.

Photo Credit: © Copyright Bat Conservation Trust

www.bats.org.uk

Bat – Brown Long-Eared

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Brown Long-Eared Bat

This bat’s huge ears provide exceptionally sensitive hearing – it can even hear a ladybird walking on a leaf. They have particularly sensitive low frequency hearing and often locate prey from the sounds made by the insect’s own movements.

These bats are known as ‘whispering bats’ because their echolocation sounds are very quiet. On a bat detector the calls are very quiet and are heard as a series of clicks!

Their foraging habitat is open deciduous and coniferous woodland, parkland and orchards. As well as catching insects in free flight, they also fly slowly amongst foliage, picking off leaves and bark. They are even able to take insects from lighted windows. They may sometimes use vision when hunting for food. Their flight often includes steep dives and short glides. They feed on moths, beetles, flies, earwigs and spiders. Their habit of flying close to the ground makes long-eared bats vulnerable to attack by predators.

Summer roosts are usually located in older buildings, barns, churches and trees. Long-eared bats generally form small and quiet colonies of about 20 animals – often the first a householder knows about them is when a visit to the loft reveals a cluster of tiny faces peering down from a corner of the rafters! Winter roosts tend to be found in caves, tunnels, mines, icehouses and occasionally even trees and buildings.

The Brown Long-eared bat is medium-sized. The ears are nearly as long as the body but no talways obvious: when at rest they curl their ears back like rams’ horns, or tuck them away completely under their wings leaving only the pointed inner lobe of the ear (the tragus) visible. The head and body length is 37mm – 52mm. They have a light brown fur and are pale underneath. They have a wingspan of 230 – 285mm and weigh 6 – 12g

Mating takes place in the autumn and active males will continue to mate with females throughout the winter. Maternity colonies are established in late spring, with one young born around late June to mid-July, and then weaned at 6 weeks. Colony size is between 10 to 20 bats (up to 50), and each brown long-eared can live for up to 30 years.

The Brown Long-eared bat is found throughout the UK, Ireland and the Isle of Man.

In Britain all bat species and their roosts are legally protected, by both domestic and international legislation.

Many thanks to the Bat Conservation Trust for sharing this information; for more detailed reading please visit their website below.

Photo Credit: © Copyright Bat Conservation Trust

www.bats.org.uk

Bat – Common Pipistrelle

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Common Pipistrelle Bat

Common Pipistrelle’s (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) are the commonest and most widespread of all British bat species. There are two very similar species, common pipistrelle and soprano pipistrelle. Pipistrelles are the bats you are most likely to see.

The call of the Common Pipistrelle sounds like a series of clicks turning into ‘wetter’ slaps with the deepest sounding slap being heard at about 45kHz. The Common Pipistrelle at about 55kHz.

Summer roosts of both common and soprano pipistrelles are usually found in crevices around the outside of often newer buildings, such as behind hanging tiles, soffit and barge or eaves
boarding, between roofing felt and roof tiles or in cavity walls. This species also roosts in tree holes and crevices, and also in bat boxes. Summer roosts support smaller colonies than soprano pipistrelles, with numbers averaging around 75 bats.

They appear fast and jerky in flight as they dodge about pursuing small insects which the bats catch and eat on the wing. A single pipistrelle can consume up to 3,000 insects in one night! They fly 2-10m above ground level searching for their insect prey which is a wide range of small flies as well as aquatic midges and mosquitoes. Common pipistrelles feed in a wide range of habitats comprising woodland, hedgerows, grassland, farmland, suburban and also urban areas.

The Common Pipistrelle weighs around 3 -5 grams which is less than a £1 coin! Its body length is between 35mm – 45mm and it has a wingspan of 200mm – 235mm. The fur is a medium to dark brown colour.

During the summer, females form maternity colonies where they give birth to a single young in June or early July. For three or four weeks the young are fed solely on their mother’s milk. After about four weeks the young are able to fly and at six weeks they are able to forage for themselves. Male bats usually roost singly or in small groups through the summer months. During the main mating period males attract females by making repeated ‘songflights’ around their roost and singing social calls.

In Britain all bat species and their roosts are legally protected, by both domestic and international legislation.

Many thanks to the Bat Conservation Trust for sharing this information; for more detailed reading please visit their website below.

Photo Credit: © Copyright Bat Conservation Trust

www.bats.org.uk

Bat – Daubenton

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Daubenton Bat

The Daubenton Bat (Myotis daubentonii) is also known as the ‘water bat’ as it fishes insects from the water’s surface with its large feet or uses its tail membrane as a scoop. It can be
found in England, Scotland and wales.

On a bat detector the calls are heard as a machine gun like series of regular clicks for bursts of 5 to 10 seconds. Daubenton’s bat calls range from 35 to 85kHz and are loudest at 45 to 50kHz

Daubenton’s bats may be found in tunnels or bridges over canals and rivers, or in caves, mines and cellars. They are only occasionally found in buildings, usually old stone structures such as moated castles and waterworks. And sometimes they are find in tree-holes and bat boxes. They can be quite noisy throughout the day, especially at sites where they are close to human activity. Although usually solitary, small groups of three or four are not uncommon. Individuals are often lodged in tight crevices and are barely visible.

Daubenton’s bats usually feed within about 6km of the roost, but have been recorded following canals for up to 10km (at speeds of up to 25kph). They have a steady flight, often within a few centimetres of the water surface and is reminiscent of a small hovercraft. They take insects from close to the water. They feed mainly on small flies (especially chironomid midges), caddisflies and mayflies.

The Daubenton’s bat is a medium-sized species with a head and body length of 45 – 55mm. Its fur colour is red brown, and the underpart of the body is pale. It is distinctive by its pinkish face which is bare around the eyes. The wingspan of this bat is 240mm-275mm and it weighs 7g – 12g.

Mating usually takes place in the autumn but active males will continue to mate throughout the winter. Maternity roosts are occupied from late spring and sometimes until October. Young bats are suckled for several weeks and are fully weaned and able to forage for themselves at 6 to 8 weeks. The average colony size is between 20 to 50 bats (up to 200). Daubenton’s bats can live for up to 22 years.

In Britain all bat species and their roosts are legally protected, by both domestic and international legislation.

Many thanks to the Bat Conservation Trust for sharing this information; for more detailed reading please visit their website below.

Photo Credit: © Copyright Bat Conservation Trust

www.bats.org.uk

Bat – Greater Horseshoe

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Greater Horseshoe Bat

The Greater horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) is rare in Britain, confined to central England and Wales. It is one of our largest bat species, the size of a small pear. Horseshoe bats possess a distinctive horseshoe-shaped noseleaf.

Greater horseshoe bats have an almost constant frequency call of about 82kHz. On a bat detector a series of continuous warbles can be heard.

Greater horseshoes bats were originally cave dwellers, but few now use caves in summer – most breeding females use buildings, choosing sites with large entrance holes with access to open roof spaces warmed by the sun. Such sites are normally in larger, older houses, churches and barns. Maternity colonies can be noisy, with continuous chattering, chirping and scolding calls. In winter they use caves, disused mines, cellars and tunnels as hibernation sites. The bats will sometimes form clusters in winter sites, although adult females are more solitary. When roosting they hang free with the wings more or less enfolding their body.

Greater horseshoe bats often behave like flycatchers, ‘watching’ from a regular perch and flying out to take passing insects. Large prey is taken to a regular feeding perch. Greater horseshoe bats feed mainly by low flying hunting catching insects in flight or occasionally from the ground. They feed on chafers, dung beetles, noctuid moths, craneflies and caddis flies.

The fur colour of the adults is a buff-brown while the juveniles have a greyish fur colour. Its head and body length is 57mm – 71mm and the wingspan is 350mm-400mm. It weighs between 17g – 34g.

Female greater horseshoe bats are not usually sexually mature until their third year and one known female did not breed until its tenth year. They may not breed every year. Mating occurs mainly during the autumn, but can take place in late winter or even spring. The young are born in mid-July. Greater horseshoe bats have been known to live for up to 30 years.

In Britain all bat species and their roosts are legally protected, by both domestic and international legislation.

To find out more about bats and how you can help these amazing but vulnerable animals, visit the Bat Conservation Trust’s website where you can become a member and discover the many ways you can get involved to do your bit for bats! The National Bat Helpline can be reached on 0845 1300 228.

Photo Credit: © Copyright Bat Conservation Trust / Gareth Jones

www.bats.org.uk

Bat – Grey Long Eared

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Grey Long Eared Bat

Grey long-eared (Plecotus austriacus) bats are very rare medium-sized bats found only in a few places in southern England. They are generally longer than the Brown long-eared bats.

The echolocation pulses produced by these bats are very quiet – this is thought to help with finding insects on foliage as well as to avoid warning moths of the presence of the bat.

Relatively little is known about the habitat use of the grey long-eared bat, however long-eared bats are most often found in older houses with large open roof voids which allow the bats to fly around in the roof. As well as using the roof void, the bats will tuck themselves away behind rafters, so they may not always be seen. A favourite roosting place is on or above the ridge beam of the roof. In winter, long-eared bats may still be found in roofs in small numbers and some are seen in underground sites such as caves, mines and cellars

Recent radio-tracking studies show that they tend to forage in open spaces over meadows, grasslands, gardens and near forest edges, up to 6 km away from the roost. Grey long-eared bats are very skilful fliers that feed on moths, Diptera (mainly Tipulids – crane flies) and small beetles.

A grey long-eared bat’s ears are nearly as long as the body, but are not always obvious; when at rest they curl their ears back like rams horns, or tuck them away completely under their wings leaving only the pointed inner lobe of the ear (the tragus) visible. These bats are grey and have a darker face with a blackish mask. The head and body length is 41mm – 58mm and the wingspan is 255mm – 300mm. It weighs between 7g – 12g.

As with other species, long-eared breeding colonies gather in roosts during April and May. Generally numbers are quite low, averaging about 20 adults, but colonies of up to 100 are known. Males are often found in these roosts and are obviously tolerated by the females. The single baby is born in the end of June/ beginning of July and is able to fly by August.

In Britain all bat species and their roosts are legally protected, by both domestic and international legislation.

To find out more about bats and how you can help these amazing but vulnerable animals, visit the Bat Conservation Trust’s website where you can become a member and discover the many ways you can get involved to do your bit for bats! The National Bat Helpline can be reached on 0845 1300 228.

Photo Credit: © Copyright Bat Conservation Trust

www.bats.org.uk

Bat – Greater Mouse Eared

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Greater Mouse Eared Bat

The greater mouse-eared bat (Myotis myotis) is the largest bat that occurs in Britain. It was officially declared extinct in 1990 in the UK. It was presumed extinct because number of individuals were so low.

The past twenty-five years have seen very few records of this species, but this is not to say they are the only ones around.

A lone 17 year old male did not return to his hibernation site in Sussex in 1991. The last known colony was a few miles from Bognor Regis and contained several females until 1985 which was the year of their mysterious disappearance. Their departure happened around the time that a nearby cottage was destroyed by fire and as the females tend to form maternity colonies in attics they may have perished in this incident. However in January 2001 an emaciated female was found in Bognor Regis but died shortly afterwards. It is thought that she may have been moving between hibernation sites and was caught out by the cold weather. From her worn teeth she was presumed to be quite old. She was found within 5 miles of the last known colony. In 2002 a juvenile male was discovered hibernating in Sussex and has since been recorded annually at the same site.

The greater mouse-eared bat has fur on its back which is a sandy colour and this colour contracts strongly with the white fur underneath. The head and body length is 65mm – 80mm and the wingspan is 365mm – 450mm. This species of bat weighs 24g – 40g.

In Britain all bat species and their roosts are legally protected, by both domestic and international legislation. Please contact the Bat Conservationist if you have find a bat that you have recorded – they are always interested in getting any information.

To find out more about bats and how you can help these amazing but vulnerable animals, visit the Bat Conservation Trust’s website where you can become a member and discover the many ways you can get involved to do your bit for bats! The National Bat Helpline can be reached on 0845 1300 228.

Photo Credit: © Copyright Bat Conservation Trust

www.bats.org.uk

Bat – Leisler’s

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Leisler's Bat

The Leisler’s bat (Nyctalus leisleri) is similar to the noctule, but smaller, with longer fur, particularly around the shoulders and the upper back, giving it a lion’s mane appearance. It was
formerly known as the hairy-armed bat.

The calls are occasionally audible to the human ear. On a bat detector a characteristic “chip chop” with clicks at the top of the range is heard, but the sounds are less loud and harsh made by those made by the noctule bat.

Leisler’s bat is naturally a forest species, roosting in tree holes and bat boxes. They also roost in buildings, both old and new. In houses they have been found around the gable ends in lofts, between tiles and underfelt, under ridge tiles, above large soffit boards, behind hanging tiles, under loft floor insulation, behind window shutters and in disused chimneys.

Leisler’s bat is a mobile species and one roost is often occupied for only a few days before the colony moves to another roost. The bats are very vocal prior to emergence and are particularly noisy on hot summer days. They usually fly high and fast in the open, frequently at or below tree top level, with shallow dives. Sometimes they fly close to the ground along lanes and well lit roads. In suburban areas they may be attracted to insects around street lights. They feed on flies, moths, caddis flies and beetles.

The Leisler’s bat has a golden-tipped or reddish-brown fur which is darker at the base. The head and body length is 50mm – 70mm and its wingspan is 260mm – 320mm. It weighs
12g – 20g.

Mating occurs from late summer until mid-autumn. Breeding males emerge from their holes at dusk and slowly fly around calling loudly every second or so. They keep within 300 m of their mating roost, returning to the roost after several minutes, where they continue to call and await the arrival of the females. If no females arrive, the males fly around calling again. These calls are audible to the human ear and are not like calls used in echolocation. The males do not feed during the courtship period. Male Leisler’s bats can have a harem of up to nine females; males give off a strong sweet odour during the autumn. In the summer, maternity colonies of females gather in tree holes and sometimes in buildings, particularly in Ireland where colonies may number 1,000. The young are born in mid-June.

In Britain all bat species and their roosts are legally protected, by both domestic and international legislation.

Many thanks to the Bat Conservation Trust for sharing this information; for more detailed reading please visit their website below.

Photo Credit: © Copyright Bat Conservation Trust

www.bats.org.uk

Bat – Nathusius Pipistrelle

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Nathusius pipistrelle

Nathusius pipistrelle is a rare bat in the UK, though records have increased in recent years A previous migrant species, it has only been classed as a resident species since 1997.

The calls of this bat are similar to those of the other pipistrelles. However, the peak intensity of the call is lower than the other two species. The calls can be audible to some adults and children.

Nathusius’ pipistrelles are often recorded roosting in crevices and have been found in cracks in walls, under soffit boards, fissures in rocks and tree hollows. In the UK only a small number of maternity colonies have been reported and these have been in the walls of traditionally built buildings of stone and red brick, in wall cavities and under flat roofs. The majority of roosts are located close to large freshwater lakes.

This species forages near rivers, canals, lakes and waterlogged areas, as well as in woodland rides and edges. The flight is rapid – slightly faster than that of common and soprano pipistrelles, although it is not quite as manoeuvrable, and its insect prey are caught on the wing, by ‘aerial hawking’. The nathusius feeds on medium-sized flying insects such as aquatic flies, midges, mosquitoes and caddis flies.

The Nathusius’ pipistrelle is similar in appearance to, but slightly larger than the much more commonly found common and soprano pipistrelles, and the fur on its back is longer, sometimes giving it a shaggy appearance. Its fur is a reddish-brown, occasionally with frosted tips on the belly. The ears, membranes and face are usually very dark. The head and body length is 46mm – 55mm and the wingspan 228mm – 250mm. The nathusius weighs 6g – 16g.

During the summer, females form large maternity colonies of up to 350 bats where each gives birth to a single young in June or early July. For three or four weeks the young are fed solely on their mother’s milk. After about four weeks the young are able to fly and at six weeks they are able to forage for themselves. Occasionally, maternity colonies may temporarily move location.

In Britain all bat species and their roosts are legally protected, by both domestic and international legislation.

Many thanks to the Bat Conservation Trust for sharing this information; for more detailed reading please visit their website below.

Photo Credit: © Copyright Bat Conservation Trust

www.bats.org.uk

Bat – Natterer’s

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Natterer’s Bat

The Natterer’s bat (Myotis nattereri) is a medium-sized species that was often called the ‘red-armed bat’ because of its pinkish limbs. The natterer’s broad wings enables it to fly slowly so that it can even snatch spiders from their webs.

The echolocation calls of these bats are very quiet. On a bat detector the calls are heard as irregular rapid clicks, with a sound similar to cellophane being crumpled.

Most known summer colonies are in old stone buildings with large timber beams, such as castles, manor houses and churches, or large old timbered barns. They also roost under bridges and occasionally in the roof spaces of houses. When hibernating Natterer’s bats can be found in any small cave-like site or even exposed rock crevices. In their efforts to lodge in small crevices they can be found in almost any position, including lying on their back or sides, or even resting on their heads. Individual Natterer’s bats are occasionally found hibernating in churches, in crevices between beams.

Natterer’s have a slow to medium flight, sometimes over water, but more often amongst trees, where their broad wings and tail membrane give them great manoeuvrability at slow speed. They normally fly at heights of less than 5m, but occasionally may reach 15m in the tree canopy. Much of the prey is taken from foliage and includes many flightless or day-flying insects. Sometimes larger prey is taken to a feeding perch. They feed on flies (mainly midges), small moths, caddis flies, lacewings, beetles, small wasps, spiders.

The Natterer’s bat is a medium-sized species, distinctive by its fringe of very stiff bristles along the trailing end of its broad tail membrane. It has a bare pink face and the ears are narrow, fairly long and slightly curved backwards at the tip.. Its head and body length is 40mm – 50mm with a fur colour of light buff brown on black and a white underneath. The wingspan is 245mm – 300mm and it weighs 7g – 12g.

Mating occurs mainly in the autumn and maternity colonies of adult females are mainly formed from May-June through to July. They may change roost sites frequently. The female gives birth to a single young at the end of June or in early July. For the first 3 weeks the young bat feeds only on its mother’s milk and is left in a crèche inside the roost when its mother goes out at night to feed. During this time the juvenile may make its first flight inside the roost, and within 6 weeks it is fully weaned and able to forage for itself.

In Britain all bat species and their roosts are legally protected, by both domestic and international legislation.

Many thanks to the Bat Conservation Trust for sharing this information; for more detailed reading please visit their website below.

Photo Credit: © Copyright Bat Conservation Trust

www.bats.org.uk

Bat – Lesser Horseshoe

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Lesser Horseshoe Bat

The Lesser Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros) is one of the smallest British species, being around plum-sized. Like the greater horseshoe bat, it has a complex noseleaf. At rest this bat hangs with the wings wrapped around the body.

Lesser horseshoe bats have an almost constant frequency call, about 110kHz. On a bat detector a series of continuous warbles can be heard.

Lesser horseshoe bats were originally cave dwellers, but summer colonies are now usually found in the roofs of larger rural houses and stable blocks, or in nearby cellars, caves or tunnels where the bats can go in severe weather. They prefer access through an opening that allows uninterrupted flight to the roof apex. The colony may shift between attics, cellars and chimneys throughout the summer, depending on the weather. Many sites only have one or a few bats hibernating in them and it is rare to find large numbers in a site. Lesser horseshoe bats do not cluster together but hang a little apart from their neighbours.

These bats are sensitive to disturbance and twist their bodies as they scan their surroundings before flying off. They feed amongst vegetation in sheltered lowland valleys looking for flies, mainly midges, small moths, caddis flies, lacewings, beetles, small wasps and spiders.. They rarely fly more than five metres above the ground. Large prey is often taken back to a temporary night roost or sometimes dealt with whilst the bat is hanging in trees.
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The adult lesser horseshoe bat has a pinky buff-brown fur while the juveniles a greyish fur which stays this colour until it is one year old. The head and body length is 35mm – 45mm and the wingspan is 200mm – 250mm. The lesser horseshoe weighs 5g – 9g.

Mating takes place during autumn, sometimes later in winter. Maternity roosts are almost always formed in buildings and may be occupied from April, though most breeding females do not arrive until May. Maternity colonies are mixed-sex, with up to a fifth of the colony being male. Approximately half to two-thirds of the females in the nursery roost give birth to a single young between mid-June and mid-July. The suckling of the young probably lasts four to five weeks, by which time the young can fly from the roost. Young are completely independent six weeks. Most young are sexually mature in their second autumn.

In Britain all bat species and their roosts are legally protected, by both domestic and international legislation.

Many thanks to the Bat Conservation Trust for sharing this information; for more detailed reading please visit their website below.

Photo Credit: © Copyright Bat Conservation Trust

www.bats.org.uk

Bat – Noctule

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Noctule Bat

The Noctule (Nyctalus noctula) bat is one of the largest widespread British species, but it is still smaller than the palm of your hand. It is usually the first bat to appear in the evening, sometimes even before sunset.

Noctules’ calls sound like ‘chip chop’ with occasional clicks which can be heard during feeding. Calls can be heard by some adults and children.

Noctule bats are primarily tree dwellers and live mainly in rot holes and woodpecker holes. They occur rarely in buildings; most noctule roosts in buildings are only gathering roosts, the colonies moving off at the end of May and early June. The bats produce loud characteristic metallic chirping sounds so that noctule colonies can be heard up to 200-300m away on hot days. Noctule bats hibernate mainly in trees or rock fissures and hollows, but have also been found in bat boxes and buildings. and other man-made structures in winter. They can survive without feeding for four months.

Noctules have a characteristic powerful, direct flight on long narrow pointed wings. They fly in a straight line, very high and fast in the open, often well above tree-top level, with repeated steep dives when chasing insects. They can fly at 50 kph. Most food is caught on the wing and eaten in flight but occasionally prey is taken from the ground and in suburban areas noctules are attracted to street lamps to feed on moths. During spring noctules will feed mainly on smaller insects such as midges, changing their diet to take chafer and dung beetles and moths later in the season. They also feed on mayflies and winged ants.

A distinctive characteristic of this bat is that its inner ear lobe (the tragus) is mushroom shaped. Its head and body length is 37mm – 48mm and the adults fur colour is a sleek chocolate brown. The juveniles and some females have a dull chocolate brown fur. The wingspan is 320mm – 400mm and the noctule weighs 18g – 40g.

During the mating season, male noctules emit a series of shrill mating calls from a roost entrance, usually a tree hole, or during flight and produces a strong odour, attracting a harem usually of four or five (but up to 20) females, which stay with the male for 1 or 2 days. The young are born in late June or July in maternity colonies found often in trees. Females usually have one young. For 3 to 4 weeks the young are suckled solely on their mother’s milk, and they are fully weaned and able to forage for themselves within 6 weeks. The maternity colonies frequently change roosts, mothers carrying the smaller young between roosts. The young are left in crèches while the mothers go off to feed. Some females become sexually mature in their first autumn but many o not mate until their second year.

In Britain all bat species and their roosts are legally protected, by both domestic and international legislation.

To find out more about bats and how you can help these amazing but vulnerable animals, visit the Bat Conservation Trust’s website where you can become a member and discover the many ways you can get involved to do your bit for bats! The National Bat Helpline can be reached on 0845 1300 228.

Photo Credit: © Copyright Bat Conservation Trust / Hugh Clark

www.bats.org.uk

Bat – Serotine

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Serotine Bat

Serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus) is one of Britain’s largest bat species and usually one of the first to appear in the evening, often emerging in good light. It can be found in the south
and parts of south Wales.

On a bat detector serotines calls sound like irregular hand-clapping. The echolocation calls range from 15 to 65kHz and peak at 25 to 30kHz.

Serotines roost mainly in older buildings and churches with high gables and cavity walls.. They are one of the most building-oriented species and is hardly ever found in trees. They roost hidden in crevices around chimneys, in cavity walls, between felt or boarding and tiles or slates, beneath floorboards and sometimes in the open roof space at the ridge ends or occasionally elsewhere along the ridge. Very few serotines are found in winter, but it is likely that most hibernate in buildings. It is possible that at least part of the summer colony may remain in the same building for some, if not all, of the winter period. Hibernating serotines have been found inside cavity walls and disused chimneys

The Serotine has broad wings and is characteristic for its leisurely flapping flight with occasional short glides or steep descents. It flies at about tree-top height (to about 10 m) often close to vegetation, and will sometimes flop, wings outstretched, on to the foliage to catch large insects. It will feed around street lamps and even catch prey from the ground. When it catches a large beetle, the serotine will fly around slowly, chewing its prey and dropping the wing cases and legs; sometimes it will take the prey to a feeding perch. In spring it mainly feeds on flies and moths and in summer, particularly chafers and dung beetles.

The Serotine has dark brown fur above and pale fur underneath. Its face and ears are black. The head and body length is 58mm – 80mm and the wingspan 320mm – 380mm. The serotine weighs 15g – 35g.

Maternity colonies consist almost exclusively of female bats and start to build up in May. A colony usually remains at a single roost site during the breeding season. Females normally give birth to a single young in early July. The baby is occasionally carried by its mother for the first few days. At 3 weeks the young are able to make their first flight and at 6 weeks they can forage for themselves. Mating normally takes place in the autumn, but almost nothing is known of the mating behaviour. Males and females reach sexual maturity a year after their birth.

In Britain all bat species and their roosts are legally protected, by both domestic and international legislation.

Many thanks to the Bat Conservation Trust for sharing this information; for more detailed reading please visit their website below.

Photo Credit: © Copyright Bat Conservation Trust

www.bats.org.uk

Bat – Whiskered

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Whiskered Bat

The whiskered bat (myotis mystacinus) is very similar to Brandt’s bat and the two species were only separated in 1970. It is slightly smaller than the Brandt’s bat but still shares the same shaggy fur.

The whiskered bats calls sound like dry clicks (similar to Daubenton’s but not as regular and often slower). They sound loudest at 45kHz.

Whiskered bats are regularly found in buildings, though colonies are more commonly found in the north and west. They are found in all types of houses including some modern ones, but particularly in older buildings with stone walls and slate roofs. They are crevice dwellers, often roosting until hanging tiles, above soffits, in cavity walls and under ridge tiles.

bats. They do roost in trees and churches, and have been known to use bat boxes. In winter whiskered bats are regularly found hibernating in caves and tunnels, almost always in small numbers – it is uncertain where the majority of them hibernate. They are usually found in cold areas close to the entrance, but occasionally roost in the warmer interior.

Whiskered bats emerge within half an hour of sunset and probably remain active throughout much of the night. They have a fast and fluttering flight, to a height of 20 metres, generally level with occasional swoops. They glide briefly, especially when feeding in the canopy. They frequently fly along a regular route over or alongside a hedgerow or woodland edge. They feed on moths, other small insects and spiders. Studies have indicated that whiskered bats have more flexible foraging.

The whiskered bat is a small species with a head and body length of 35mm – 48mm. The colour of its fur is dark grey or brown with gold tips on the back and it has a greyish underneath. The wingspan is 210mm – 240mm and it weighs 4g – 8g.

Mating usually takes place in autumn, but has been observed in all winter months. Adult females form maternity colonies in the summer, giving birth to their single young in June or early July. The baby is fed solely on its mother’s milk: by three weeks it can fly and by six weeks it can forage for itself. Some females reach sexual maturity at three months (in their first autumn) but the majority do not mate until their second autumn.

In Britain all bat species and their roosts are legally protected, by both domestic and international legislation.

Many thanks to the Bat Conservation Trust for sharing this information; for more detailed reading please visit their website below.

Photo Credit: © Copyright Bat Conservation Trust

www.bats.org.uk

Bat – Soprano Pipistrelle

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Soprano pipistrelle

Soprano Pipistrelles (Pipistrellus pygmaeus) are the commonest and most widespread of all British bat species. There are two very similar species, soprano pipistrelle and the common pipistrelle. Pipistrelles are the bats that you are most likely to see.

The call of the Soprano Pipistrelle sounds like a series of clicks turning into ‘wetter’ slaps with the deepest sounding slap being heard at about 55kHz. The Common Pipstrelle at about 45kHz.

Summer roosts of both common and soprano pipistrelles are usually found in crevices around the outside of often newer buildings, such as behind hanging tiles, soffit and barge or eaves boarding, between roofing felt and roof tiles or in cavity walls. However, the soprano pipistrelle also roosts in tree holes and crevices, and also in bat boxes. Summer roosts support colonies of an average size of 200 bats, but they can be even larger with numbers reaching several hundred to over a thousand bats. In winter soprano pipistrelles are found singly or in small numbers in crevices of buildings and trees, and also in bat boxes.

Soprano pipistrelles usually feed in wetland habitats, for example over lakes and rivers, and also around woodland edge, tree lines or hedgerows, and in suburban gardens and parks. They generally emerge from their roost around 20 minutes after sunset and fly 2-10m above ground level searching for their insect prey, which they catch and eat on the wing by ‘aerial hawking’. They appear fast and jerky in flight as they dodge about pursuing small insects which the bats catch and eat on the wing. A single pipistrelle can consume up to 3,000 insects in one night! Sopranos feed mainly on small flies, particularly midges and mosquitoes that are associated with water.
The soprano pipistrelle has a fur colour of medium to dark brown and its face and around the eyes is usually pink in colour. The head and body length is 35mm – 45mm and the wingspan 190mm – 230mm. The soprano weighs 3g – 8g.

Male bats usually roost singly or in small groups through the summer months. During the main mating period from July to early September, males defend individual territories as mating roosts, attracting females by making repeated ‘songflights’ around their roost and singing social calls. During the summer, females form maternity colonies where they give birth to a single young in June or early July. For three or four weeks the young are fed solely on their mother’s milk. After about four weeks the young are able to fly and at six weeks they are able to forage for themselves.

In Britain all bat species and their roosts are legally protected, by both domestic and international legislation.

To find out more about bats and how you can help these amazing but vulnerable animals, visit the Bat Conservation Trust’s website where you can become a member and discover the many ways you can get involved to do your bit for bats! The National Bat Helpline can be reached on 0845 1300 228.

Photo Credit: © Copyright Bat Conservation Trust / Dave Short

www.bats.org.uk