martin dt's picture

Bat activety in January

Observed: 9th January 2013 By: martin dt

Today I observed a small bat with small ears flying over a building. The bat was turning and weaving up and down across the roof as if it was feeding. The odd thing was, it was 3 o'clock in the afternoon in January when I would have thought this little chap should have been hibernating. Also, with it beeing mid winter there did not appear to be any insects to feed on. Is this normal behaviour and what kind of bat is it? It was small with small ears, probably a pipistrelle. Could anyone confirm?

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tarkamerl's picture

The behaviour you describe

The behaviour you describe sounds like a pipistrelle, although you cannot be certain. Bats do not hibernate all through winter & will wake up periodically to feed, usually when the weather us warmer. Following the poor summer, your bat may have not laid down enough fat for hibernation & so could have been flying as it was desperate for food.

Montgomeryshire mammal recorder and generalist

colhig17's picture

Hungry bat

As tarkamerl says, this does happen in January or February. Bats normally avoid flying in daylight to avoid predators and I have heard of these poor underfed bats being picked off by crows or raptors within minutes of venturing out! It's also true that bats do regularly wake all through the winter to feed anyway. It's not full hibernation, more like torpor.


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