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hoary bat

(Lasiurus cinereus cinereus)


This is the largest bat in the region with a weight of 3/4 to 1 1/4 ounces and a total length of 4 7/8 to 5 5/8 inches. The fur is long and dark to light brown with gray or silver tips that produces a frosted appearance. The hoary bat females do not form maternity colonies like most other bats and in general this species is very solitary. Two young are usually born between mid-May and early July. This species roosts in trees 10-15 feet (3-5 meters) above the ground during the day, and becomes active in the early evening. The sexes remain separated during the summer and then migrate south in waves.


This species has a huge range covering most of the United States and is found throughout Virginia. Most of the hoary bats in Virginia would be female. The roost is primarily in the foliage of trees,and often near the edge of a clearing. This species migrates south for the winter. They almost never enter houses.


They feed in flight above trees in forest, over water, and in forest clearings between evening and dawn. The feeding range may extend 1 mile (1.6 km) or more from roosting site. They take moths, mosquitoes, dragonflies, wasps, beetles and grasshoppers.