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Bat Fact Sheet

  1. There are 5 kinds of bat in Bugbrooke, the Common Pipistrelle, the Soprano Pipistrelle, the Brown Long-Eared bat, Daubenton’s bat and the Noctule.
  2. You are unlikely to be able to distinguish between the 2 Pipistrelle types.
  3. The Pipistrelle is very small (around 5g before hibernation) and flies above head height. It is the most common bat.
  4. The Brown Long-Eared bat flies a couple of feet above vegetation & trees.
  5. Daubenton’s bat flies close to water (like a small hovercraft), taking insects off the surface. They are mostly seen on the canal, but they have roosts in the trees in the churchyard. It is a medium-sized bat.
  6. The Noctule is a large bat (Starling size) and less usual to see, but is the first to emerge in the evening. It takes a straight flight path, high & fast.
  7. Pipistrelles tend to roost in newer houses under wood facings, soffits etc.  Also in trees, in abandoned Woodpecker holes and cracks where rot has set in.
  8. Brown long-eared bats roost in roof spaces of older houses.
  9. Daubenton’s bats roost under arches/bridges/tunnels and in tree holes.
  10. Quite often the occupants of the house are quite unaware of the presence of bats.
  11. Bat droppings are like mouse droppings, but when squashed in a tissue they go down to dust.
  12. Roosts tend to be used like hotels. The bats gradually move from one place to another for no apparent reason. They often stay only for a week or two. Quite often a roost may just have one bat in it. Where there are many bats it may be a roost used by females and their young. These quite often “chitter”.
  13. There are a few fallacies about where bats choose to roost. Ivy on trees is no indicator that it is a good home, as it tends to be cold beneath it, and bats like warmth. Equally, barns are generally too cold.
  14. They all have quite a large range. Pipistrelles around 3km when foraging,  and Daubenton’s have been tracked 6km before being lost, but presumably they make the return journey during the same night.
  15. If you do the sunset survey with a view to doing the sunrise survey, you may not have a clear idea of the direction the bats are coming from. If you would like to find a roost to watch for the sunrise survey, watch in a field or another open area rather than in your garden.

Something to try: “To attract bats, use a “batterpult”, a simple catapult, to ping maggots or mealworms into the air. You can feed the bats while watching them hunt!” Nick Baker’s British Wildlife, published by The Wildlife Trusts.

 Let me know what happens!

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