(Lasionycteris noctivagans). Patient Number 22-1720.
Date of admission: September 20, 2022.
Reason for admission: Left wrist injury.
Silver-haired bats are a medium-sized, solitary, tree-roosting bat species. They can live up to 12 years and weigh 8-12 grams. Their scientific name can translate to “night wandering shaggy bat”. They have dark brown-black hairs tipped with silver; this gives them the appearance of looking frosted. These bats have short, hairless, rounded ears and a hairless face, neck, and wings. They also have a cute slightly upturned snout.
Silver-haired Bats are insectivores, they have been found to eat a large variety of bugs. They feed mid-flight and occasionally on the ground. Some predators of the silver-haired bat include skunks, owls, cats, and raccoons.
This species of bat is most common in the United States and in southern Canada. Silver-haired bats are common in boreal, coniferous, and deciduous forests close to water bodies. Deforestation is a big threat to this bat species and could affect their status in the near future.
They hibernate in small tree hollows, buildings, rock crevices, wood piles, and cliff faces or under tree bark. It may be interesting to know that some populations of Silver-haired bats migrate while others don’t. Western populations leave their winter hibernating locations and migrate both east and north. Eastern populations only move north and populations in British Columbia may not migrate at all. Silver-haired bats are also one of the slowest flying bats in North America.
Silver-haired Bats breed once a year during fall migration. They then form maternity colonies in tree cavities or hollows. One or two pups are born blind and deaf with folded ears but with teeth, in late June, and early July. They are nursed for 36 days and will weigh 1.4 to 2.3 grams.
This adult Female silver-haired bat was brought into care after being found unable to fly. She presented with swelling and bruising in the left wing, likely due to a collision with a hard object. Thankfully no fractures have been noted, so her condition is already improving with appropriate rest and antibiotics. As her species has already finished its migration for the year, she will remain with us until Spring, when she can safely be returned to the wild. Thank you for your support of this bat in need!
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