Silver-haired Bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans)

Silver-haired_bat

Physical Description

The silver-haired bat is a medium-sized bat species that can grow up to 4 inches long and with a wingspan of almost 12 inches wide. Their fur is black or blackish-brown with brightly tipped silvery-white color that is most prominent on their back. This frosting is where their name is derived from. Their fur extends half-way onto the upper part of the tail membrane. The silver-haired bat is also characterized by distinct patches of orange colored fur behind their short, round ears.

Range and Presence in Kentucky

These bats are a common species found across most of North America. Their range stretches from southeastern Alaska in the north, through southern Canada, into northern Mexico, and across the coastal plains of the United States. When they are found in Kentucky, they are mostly transient populations that are scattered across the state during their migration. There have been records of them in the summer, which are usually males, and in the winter as well.

Habitat and Behavior

The silver-haired bat is mainly a forest-dwelling bat that roosts in hollowed out trees, tree cavities, and underneath peeling bark. They are also a migratory species that spend summers in the northern regions of their range and winters in the south. During their migrations, they have been found roosting in buildings, lumber piles, and fence posts. In times of colder weather, they will roost within deep rock fissures and crevices for the increased warmth of these areas.

In Kentucky, they are most commonly found in the western Cumberland Plateau are. These bats are generalist hunters who will go after a wide variety of different flying insects. They prefer areas around water like stream corridors and the edges of lakes and ponds in which to forage for insects.

Bat Species

Rafinesque’s big-eared bat
Seminole bat
Little brown bat
Indiana bat
Virginia big-eared bat
Red bat
Gray bat
Eastern small-footed myotis
Evening bat
Big brown bat
Hoary bat
Southeastern myotis
Northern bat
Eastern pipistrelle