Conserve Wildlife Blog

An Exciting Catch- the Hoary Bat!

August 30th, 2022

By Meaghan Lyon

As mentioned in the previous weeks, there was one special bat that made its way into the top of our net during the 2022 bat field season that left us overjoyed! One juvenile, female hoary bat (Aeorestes cinereus) was captured during our last week of surveying. This is only the second time this bat has been captured at this site in the Pinelands. Even though the hoary bat is not an endangered species, this is a rare capture for our team because the species is generally flies high and our nets only go as high as 5.5 meters. Additionally, the habitat we survey is more suited to the Northern long-eared bat which like densely cluttered forests, whereas the hoary bat typically is found on the edges of open fields.

Biologist Leah Wells holds a hoary bat.

The hoary bat is the most widespread bat in the Americas, ranging from the Northeast all the way to Hawaii! It is also the largest bat we have in New Jersey with a wingspan of roughly 15 inches. Like our Eastern red bats, the hoary bat is migratory and travels south to warmer climates during the cold winter months. Its hair is thicker than hibernating bats to keep it warm and the furred tail membrane is used as a blanket that the bat can wrap itself up in when temperatures drop. Hoary bats tend to be solitary and elusive species, spending most of their time solo in the treetops.

CWF biologists were lucky to have the experience of holding a hoary bat and it was a great farewell to another season of bat surveys!

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2 Responses to “An Exciting Catch- the Hoary Bat!”

  1. Carolyn Edelmann says:

    Excited with you and never even heard of the hoary bat. So glad our Pine “Barrens” (!) are enriched by this special creature. I sent your news on to Brian Lies, prize-winning author of Bats at the Beach, Bats at the Library, Bats at the Ballpark (they wear ‘moontan lotion’ at beach…) — Brian of Montgomery NJ as a child, near Boston now. He’ll be delighted! Thanks for all the good you are doing.

  2. Barb McKee says:

    What an adorable little creature! So glad you all were able to experience the thrill of this rather rare capture! Nice to know we have these bats in our midst.