Unexpected occupant in dormouse box

During  the September dormouse box check our monitoring team discovered a bat in one of the boxes. This unusual resident was subsequently identified by expert bat ecologist Roger Havard as Brown Long- Eared bat (Plecotus auritus). 

The male juvenile weighing 7.5g, with forearm length of 35.15mm is “a bit light for this time of year, when he should be laying down fat prior to hibernation. But the weather is still warm enough for him to find lots more insects before they stop flying due to cold nights”.  The dormouse box is likely to be his mating roost.

Brown Long-Eared bats are the second most common species of bat, after Pipistrelles, in the UK.  Their habitat is usually woodland although they also roost in older buildings.  They forage in deciduous and coniferous woodland, parkland and orchards. Their diet consists of moths, beetles, flies, earwigs and spiders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roosting in dormouse box. Photo Chris Cooke

Brown Long-Eared bat. Photo Chris Cooke

Roger Havard weighing the bat. Photo Chris Cooke