This medium-sized bat has a body length of up to 4 inches, with brown fur on top and tan below. The legs and webbing are bare with a darker, reddish color. The ears are large and rounded, although they often appear pointed as in our images. These bats hibernate in our area, often some distance from their summer residence. They hunt a variety of night-flying insects such as moths, especially over marshy areas. They rear one young per year and are estimated to live up to 18 years in the wild.
Bats are seldom seen in our nature centers during daylight. This one was photographed at about 4 p.m. on the floodplain boardwalk. This species had been seen and identified in the past by Prof. Russ Benedict, a member of the FNA staff at the time. He provided us with the identification based on photo 1. Photos 2, 3 and 4 were taken by Professor James Wilson in Fontenelle Forest on the 24th of September 2012.
Northern bats are considered by some to be pests when they inhabit homes and other dwellings. But they play a valuable role in controlling insects, some of which may be potentially harmful.
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