(Lasionycteris noctivagans). Patient Number 22-141.
Date of admission: May 2, 2022.
Reason for admission: Grounded.
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 for 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 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, late June, and early July. They are nursed for 36 days and will weigh 1.4 to 2.3 grams.
This silver-haired bat was brought into care after being found in Carstairs on the ground unable to fly due to cold weather. She arrived in our clinic on May 2, 2022. She was dehydrated on intake and was hydrated to ensure she could properly process food. She is now on her diet of mealworms and is hopefully on her way to a full recovery and release back to the wild. Thank you for your support of this bat in need!