Bat – Brown Long-Eared

Brown Long-Eared Bat

This bat’s huge ears provide exceptionally sensitive hearing – it can even hear a ladybird walking on a leaf. They have particularly sensitive low frequency hearing and often locate prey from the sounds made by the insect’s own movements.

These bats are known as ‘whispering bats’ because their echolocation sounds are very quiet. On a bat detector the calls are very quiet and are heard as a series of clicks!

Their foraging habitat is open deciduous and coniferous woodland, parkland and orchards. As well as catching insects in free flight, they also fly slowly amongst foliage, picking off leaves and bark. They are even able to take insects from lighted windows. They may sometimes use vision when hunting for food. Their flight often includes steep dives and short glides. They feed on moths, beetles, flies, earwigs and spiders. Their habit of flying close to the ground makes long-eared bats vulnerable to attack by predators.

Summer roosts are usually located in older buildings, barns, churches and trees. Long-eared bats generally form small and quiet colonies of about 20 animals – often the first a householder knows about them is when a visit to the loft reveals a cluster of tiny faces peering down from a corner of the rafters! Winter roosts tend to be found in caves, tunnels, mines, icehouses and occasionally even trees and buildings.

The Brown Long-eared bat is medium-sized. The ears are nearly as long as the body but no talways obvious: when at rest they curl their ears back like rams’ horns, or tuck them away completely under their wings leaving only the pointed inner lobe of the ear (the tragus) visible. The head and body length is 37mm – 52mm. They have a light brown fur and are pale underneath. They have a wingspan of 230 – 285mm and weigh 6 – 12g

Mating takes place in the autumn and active males will continue to mate with females throughout the winter. Maternity colonies are established in late spring, with one young born around late June to mid-July, and then weaned at 6 weeks. Colony size is between 10 to 20 bats (up to 50), and each brown long-eared can live for up to 30 years.

The Brown Long-eared bat is found throughout the UK, Ireland and the Isle of Man.

In Britain all bat species and their roosts are legally protected, by both domestic and international legislation.

Many thanks to the Bat Conservation Trust for sharing this information; for more detailed reading please visit their website below.

Photo Credit: © Copyright Bat Conservation Trust