The Hoary bat is also known as the hairy tailed bat is mainly a North American bat where it is the largest bat species native to Canada, but it an occasional visitor to the UK. This is less surprising than first seems as the bat travels long distances and has been found in the Southern US and even Bermuda, one theory is that the bats roost inside shipping crates which explain for their wide range which even includes above the arctic circle.
This species is about 14cm long with an impressive wingspan of 40cm, its fur is dark brown with a sliver tint along its back, thick fur covers the whole body including the tail only being absent under the wings.
The Hoary bat is a solitary forest bat and roosts mainly in coniferous trees within the leaves although it has been found in caves. In the US they are very widespread, Canada they range to northern tree line, and they are less common in the Rockies and Eastern US. Their southern range includes Guatemala and even Brazil, Chile and Argentina. Hoary bats have thick fur which allows them to live at much colder temperatures than other bats and have been identified at temperatures as low as 0 degrees centigrade. It is thought that in winter the bat hibernates in hollow trees or old buildings but there is also evidence that the bat migrates to warmer areas rather than hibernate.
Little is know about this bats breeding cycle but it is believed that they mate in August but don’t give birth until June as although the gestation period is 40 days they use a delayed implantation also known as embryonic diapause which over 100 mammal species use. A litter contains up to 4 young who are able to hunt alone within a month.
PreyThe Hoary bat is solo hunter normally over lakes and open fields where its main prey of moths and dragonflies are easy to find. They normally hunt late at night and are swift aerial hunters attacking moths from behind and biting off the fleshy abdomen leaving the moth’s wings, thorax and head to drop to the ground. They are themselves hunted by the normal predators for bats such as owls and other birds of prey.
This fun gadget allows you to tune into the radar system of bats by converting the high frequency sound waves which cannot be heard by humans and converting to frequencies between 100 Hz and 12 Hz which is within human hearing range. The unit has a waterproof loudspeaker and a socket for standard walkman type headphones. It requires 4 AAA batteries which can be of the rechargeable type and aren't included and its low power requirements mean a long battery life. The unit comes with a 2 year guarantee