Where do Bats Live?

by Russ on March 2, 2013

Pipistrelle Bats are one of the most commonly seen in Britain.In the middle of the night, when all the day-time animals have gone to bed, a whole new group of creatures start to emerge from their slumber. Nocturnal species are perfectly adapted to take advantage of the dark conditions of night and bats are one of the most advanced night-time animals you can find. These small, flying mammals can be seen coming to life at dusk in spring and summer as the dart effortlessly through the air. But where do bats sleep during the long day?

Tunnels such as this one can be perfect for bats to roost in. If there is water nearby there is a good chance it will be home to bats.As bats are most active at night, they are unable to see their prey with their eyes so rely on using sound and echolocation to hear where their food is. Because they are used to the dark, they do not like light places. When roosting during the day they prefer somewhere out of sight. This protects them from predators but more importantly protects them from the strong light and heat of the sun.

In the UK there are 17 different species of bat. Each species has it’s own preference to where it spends the night. Some bats choose to sleep in the hollows of trees, some prefer caves and others pick a mixture of different homes throughout the year. In winter, bats need to find a home to hibernate in. They often hibernate in underground caves because of the stable conditions  found there.

Different bats choose different places to sleep and should not be disturbed if found.

Some bats will also shelter in man-made structures. Canal and railway bridges and roof spaces can offer an excellent stop-over site. You can go one step further to help your local bats by buying a bat box. Unlike a bird box, the entrance is at the bottom, as bats are used to climbing upwards to head to bed. Placing a bat box on a tree or building offers them the perfect sleeping space. As many of the UK’s bats are endangered, this is a brilliant way to help conserve and learn more about these fascinating night-time animals.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

James May 27, 2013 at 8:19 am

I’ve been at my nans house and there’s lots of bats out there. we wonder where they sleep because there’s no caves around here.


Russ May 31, 2013 at 10:09 am

Hi James,

Although bats do sleep in caves during the day they will also sleep anyway that offers shelter. They are 16 British species of bats in total and they all prefer different beds for the night. Some may use caves but many will use trees and man made buildings. Bridges over water is a brilliant place for bats to hide. Some will also shelter in our rooves.

If you’re interested in helping you’re bats, you can even buy bat boxes. These are much thinner than bird boxes but if you put the bat boxes on the side of a tree or house, your bats will love these and may even use them to hibernate in at the end of the year.

Here’s a good link for bat boxes – http://www.nestbox.co.uk/Bat-Boxes

Enjoy your bats!



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