Wild Wednesday: Northern Long-eared Bat
The Northern long-eared bat is a wide ranging bat species that can be found in much of the U.S. and Canada, including Michigan. It is a medium sized bat measuring around 3 inches in length with a 9-10 inch wingspan. As their name suggests, this bat has longer ears compared to others in the genus Myotis. These bats live in mixed hardwood-conifer forests where they will roost in trees, tree hollows, or deep crevasses in the tree bark. At night these bats fly through the trees on the hunt for moths, beetles, flies, and other flying insects. They use their echolocation to find their prey in the dark and catch them while still in flight. In winter, these bats hibernate in caves and mines. Across much of its range, this bat has had tremendous losses to its population due to the fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome. Due to this disease, the species is now listed as federally threatened. You can help these bats by putting up bat boxes and making sure not to disturb hibernating bats.