Hoary Bats

The Hoary Bat is one of the Maryland bats you would probably easily recognize and remember. It is fairly large, has a rounded nose and ears, beady eyes and thick brownish-gray hair that extends from the back up to the elbows.

Physical Description

  • Weight – 0.9 oz.
  • Body length – 5 inches to 5.7 inches
  • Wingspan – 15.7 inches

Habitat

The Hoary Bat is not unique to Maryland, or the U.S. for that matter, it inhabits states and countries from Argentina to Canada, and has even been seen in the Caribbean and across the Atlantic in Scotland. As you can tell, Hoary Bats are excellent at long-distance flights and to this day they are the only land mammals that made it to Hawaii.

Due to its amazing ability to adapt to different conditions, the Hoary Bat can be found in a wide variety of habitats from tropical forests to lowland deserts. In Maryland, they prefer pine forests and like to roost on the edges of croplands. Hoary Bats tend to avoid densely populated urban areas, but may on occasion come there to hunt insects attracted to streetlights. Male Hoary Bats prefer high elevations and are more common in mountain states, while females tend to stay lower.

Habits

Males and females usually live alone, but may roost in proximity to each other. Females raising pups typically gather in colonies and roost in tree foliage 12 to 40 feet above ground. Fall and spring migrations might be the only times when Hoary Bats are seen in large groups. They can travel long distances to their winter roosting sites, and often go as far as the Gulf of Mexico.

Hoary Bats are also unique due to the fact that they can hibernate in the open in places like woodpecker holes, moss clumps and tree trunks. Thanks to its thick fur, this bat can survive temperatures as low as 7 degrees F and even snow storms.

Reproduction and Mating

Hoary Bats reproduce and mate similar to all other Maryland bats. They mate during migration in fall and become pregnant in spring, when they give birth to twins or, in rare cases, to 3-4 pups. Interestingly, mothers don’t sever the umbilical cord right away, keeping it attached in case a newborn falls out. Hoary Bat pups are born blind and with no hair. They start making noises on the second day, open their eyes on the third and are ready to fly in a month and a half.

Diet

Out of all the flying insects, Hoary Bats prefer months as their breakfast, lunch and dinner. In fact, they consume so many months in one sitting, their body weight increases up to 40%. When moths are not available, the bats will satisfy hunger with flies, beetles, crickets and even stink bugs. Due to their large size, they are drawn to larger insects and normally wouldn’t pursue something as small as a mosquito.

Is a furry Hoary Bat disturbing your peace? Contact Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Control and we’ll take care of it in the most responsible, effective and prompt manner!