big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus fuscus)
CONFIRMATION STATUS: Not confirmed.
CHARACTERISTICS: This is a large, dark brown bat with long, glossy
fur, a broad nose and wings, and short, black ears. The average total length
is 103-130 mm, with a weight of 13-18 grams (0.4 - 0.6 ounces). There
are usually 2 young born in a nursery colony in late May-early June.
Nursery colonies are usually located in manmade structures, such as
barns, houses and churches. They fly strong, nearly straight courses at
about 20-30 feet. They are usually solitary or in small groups. It often
uses man's habitats and, because they are less tolerant of heat , they are
often forced to move (e.g. to a basement) causing even more contact with
man. They are not migratory like other bats and can use the same roost
for both summer and winter. Light (unless very bright) and air movement
were the limiting factors in hibernacula selection. The longevity record
is 19 years. Predators include rat snakes, hawks, screech owls, common
grackles, long-tailed weasels, house cats and bullfrogs. This is the most
common bat to enter a house through the fireplace.
DISTRIBUTION: The winter and summer range is identical. The big
brown bat can be found throughout the state of Virginia. This is one
of two species that roosts in caves in the summer, but it is found most
often in manmade structures.
FOODS: These bats are efficient feeders, and fill their stomach in about
an hour. The feeding habits are beneficial to man since many of the food
insects are harmful. They feed mainly on beetles and other insects.
Crooked Run Valley