Hoary Bat

Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinereus)

Hoary Bat
Image Copyright (c) Merlin D. Tuttle

Description: Body length about 5.1-5.9″, with a 13-16″ wingspan. Blackish-brown or tan fur with frosted appearance. Tail membrane fully furred. Chattering and hissing sounds audible to humans. Ears rounded and glossy black. Golden color around face.

Range: Widespread distribution throughout North America and Hawaii as well as Brazil to Argentina and Chile. Migrates in flocks to warmer climates for winter.

Habitat: Roosts in foliage of trees near ends of branches. Blends with the bark of trees. Highly associated with forested habitats but can be found in suburbs with old, large trees.

Diet: Emerges late in evening, two to five hours after sunset. Hunts at treetop level, fields, over streams and around outdoor lights. Eats moths, true bugs, mosquitoes, dragonflies, and other insects.

Behavior: Solitary bat. Furry tail used as a blanket. One to four pups (two is norm). Pups fly at 4-5 weeks. Predators: Jays, kestrels, hawks, owls and snakes.

Risks: Loss of habitat due to timber harvest. In suburban settings, quantity of jays poses a major threat.