Lasionycteris noctivagans (Silver-haired Bat)

Weight: 8-11 grams

Wingspan: 27-31 centimeters


Southern Alaska across southern Canada and southward through much of the United States to northeastern Mexico.

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Ecology and Behavior:

A typical day roost is under loose tree bark, but these bats have been found in woodpecker holes and bird nests. Although they may appear in any kind of building, they favor open sheds, garages, and outbuildings rather than enclosed attics. During migration, they may be encountered in a variety of other shelters including piles of slabs, railroad ties, lumber, and fenceposts. Silver-haired bats are rather common locally in migration during about a 2-week period in May in Illinois and in April in Kentucky and Tennessee. Autumn migration is spread over a longer period and these bats seem less common. They hibernate in trees, buildings, rock crevices, and similar protected shelters. This species emerges earlier than most and is easily recognized in flight; it is one of the slowest flying bats in North America. It forages over woodland ponds and streams at heights up to 7 meters (23 feet) and sometimes flies repeatedly over the same circuit during the evening.

Food Habits:

Silver-haired bats consume insects including moths, true bugs, flies, mosquitos, termites, and beetles.

Reproduction and Longevity:

Young apparently are raised in the northern tier of states and northward into Canada. Most females apparently give birth to twins in June or early July.

Status of Populations:

This bat is relatively uncommon throughout much of its range, especially in the southeastern United States.

Text, in its original form, provided by T. L. Best, M. J. Harvey, and J. S. Altenbach. Printed spectrographs provided by M. J. O'Farrell. Distribution maps, call descriptions, and AnaMusic sound clips produced by W. L. Gannon. Accounts assembled by T. C. Sanchez-Brown.