Bats in Scottish Borders
Bats (Chiroptera) various
We have many species of bat in the Scottish Borders including: Brandt’s, Brown Long Ear, Daubenton’s, Leislers, Nathusius’s Pipistrelle, Natterer’s, Noctule, Soprano Pipistrelle and Whiskered.
Warm blooded and covered in fur, bats are the only mammals that can truly fly. Their wings are formed by webs of skin which stretch between long bones and a bat’ “thumb” has a hooked end which helps it to hang when it is not flying. Their feet have tiny claws and are used for climbing, holding on and grooming. Though they can see, they use echolocation to find their prey.They hibernate throughout the winter in roosts which could be anywhere from a hollow tree to under the eaves of a house. Some bats – like Pipistrelle are so tiny that you could fit them in a matchbox
Bats are nocturnal animals. They roost all day, huddled together, often upside down, in dark sheltered places. At dusk or later they leave their roost and start to hunt for insects. Bats eat beetles, moths and tiny insects like midges. A Pipistrelle can catch over 3000 midges in one night – imagine what it would be like without bats!
Common bats include Pipistrelle and Brown Long Eared, less common are Natterer’s and Daubenton's. Rare bats in Scotland include Noctule, Whiskered, Leisler’s and Brandt’s bat.
Image courtesy of Stuart Scott Images