Most people know that bats are flying mammals that typically consume insects and live in caves, but they’re not all the same regarding appearance or behavior.
There are many types of bats in Alabama, from the migratory Mexican free-tailed bat to the endangered Indiana bat, so it’s essential to learn about these fascinating creatures before you come across them in your home or business.
Here are 15 types of bats in Alabama, along with facts about each one.
1. Big brown bat
The big brown bat is one of the most common types of bats in Alabama. These bats are typically brown or black and have a wingspan of about 12 inches. Big brown bats are known to eat a variety of insects, including moths, beetles, and mosquitoes.
These different types of bats in Alabama typically roost in trees or caves during the day and emerge at night to hunt for food.
Big brown bats can be distinguished from other types of bats in Alabama by their large size and large ears. They also tend to move more slowly than different types of bats.
2. Big Free-tailed Bat
The big free-tailed bat is one of Alabama’s six species of bats. These types of bats of Alabama are the giant in North America and can have a wingspan of up to two feet!
The big free-tailed bat is primarily found in the southwestern United States and central and southern Mexico.
These types of bats in Alabama eat insects, such as moths and beetles. The big free-tailed bat is an essential part of the ecosystem because it helps control the population of insects.
3. Eastern Pipistrelle
The eastern pipistrelle is one of Alabama’s most common types of bats. These different types of bats in Alabama creatures have reddish-brown or gray fur, and they’re known for their high-pitched calls.
While they typically eat insects, they will consume other small animals if given the opportunity. Eastern pipistrelles usually roost in trees, but they’ve also taken up residence in attics and other manufactured structures.
4. Tricolored Bat
The tricolored bat is one of the most common types of bats found in Alabama. These bats are small, with wingspan only 8-10 inches. They are brown or reddish-brown on their back, with a lighter belly.
These different types of bats in Alabama are found in the state’s woods and forests. During the day, they roost upside down from tree branches, rock outcroppings, eaves, and other structures.
At night they hunt for insects in forests or swamps using echolocation. The tricolored bat typically weighs about 3/4 to 1 ounce, which means it can catch more than 5,000 insects per night!
5. Brazilian Free-tailed Bat
The Brazilian free-tailed bat is the most common type of bat found in Alabama. These bats are small, with wingspan only 8 to 10 inches. They are brown or gray, with a long tail extending beyond their wings’ edge.
Brazilian free-tailed bats typically roost in caves but can also roost under bridges or trees. These bats different types of bats in Alabama eat a variety of insects, including moths, beetles, and flies, and they have not considered a threat to humans.
6. Eastern Red Bat
The Eastern Red Bat is one of Alabama’s most common types of bats. These types of bats in Alabama are reddish-brown and have black wings. They are small, only weighing about 10 grams.
Eastern Red Bats eat insects primarily and can roost in trees during the day. At night, they fly around catching their prey.
Eastern Red Bats live up to 12 years and give birth to 1-3 babies yearly. When they are born, they cannot fly but learn quickly how to do so by following their mothers on nightly excursions.
7. Northern Long-eared Bat
The northern long-eared bat is one of the most common bats in Alabama. This species is found in nearly every county in the state and roosts in various habitats, including trees, caves, and abandoned mines.
These bats are brown or black, with long ears that extend past their nose. They typically eat insects, although they will also consume other small animals such as lizards and frogs.
These different types of bats in Alabama are essential predators of night-flying insects and play a key role in controlling local insect populations.
8. Eastern Small-footed Bat
The Eastern small-footed bat is one of the smaller Myotis bats, with an average wingspan of only 9-10 inches. They are dark brown or black, with a pale underside. As their name suggests, they have tiny feet relative to their body size.
These bats are found in forests throughout the eastern United States, from Maine to Georgia and westward to Missouri and Arkansas.
In Alabama, they are most commonly found in the northeastern part of the state. These different types bats of Alabama typically roost in trees, alone or in small groups.
9. Evening Bat
The evening bat is one of the most common types of bats in Alabama. These different types of bats in Alabama are brown or reddish-brown, with a wingspan of 9-10 inches. They roost in trees during the day and hunt for insects at night.
Evening bats are not considered endangered. In fact, they’re so common that some people might confuse them with another type of bat called the big brown bat.
10. Indiana Bat
The Indiana bat is a small, brownish-gray species of myotis (mouse-eared) bat native to North America. It is one of the most endangered bats in the United States and was first listed as endangered in 1967.
These different types of bats in Alabama have a wingspan of 8-10 inches and weigh about 10-12 grams.
It is found in eastern North America’s forests, caves, and other roosting sites. The Indiana bat hibernates in caves during the winter months. It feeds on insects, including moths, beetles, and flies, in the summer.
11. Mexican Free-tailed Bat
The Mexican free-tailed bat is one of the most common bats in Alabama. These small bats are reddish-brown or gray, with a wingspan of 9-10 inches.
They typically roost in caves or trees and can be found near rivers and streams. Mexican free-tailed bats eat various insects, including moths, beetles, and mosquitoes.
These types of bats in Alabama have excellent hearing, which helps them locate their prey. They use echolocation to navigate dark areas, making this bat a superb pest control!
Babies are born during late spring and summer, between May and July. Mexican free-tails also give birth to twins more often than other types of bats in North America.
Females produce only one pup per year on average due to how much energy it takes to bear young and fly long distances at night for food sources.
12. Rafinesque’s Big-eared Bat
With its big, round ears and reddish-brown fur, Rafinesque’s big-eared bat is one of the most distinctive bats in Alabama. This medium-sized bat is found in caves and mines throughout the state, where it roosts in small groups.
Rafinesque’s big-eared bat feeds primarily on moths but will also eat other insects. This bat migrates to find a mate in the fall, and females give birth to one or two pups in early summer.
13. Southeastern Myotis
The Southeastern myotis is a small bat with reddish-brown or gray fur. It is found in the southeastern United States, including Alabama. This bat typically roosts in trees but can also be found in caves and buildings.
It feeds on insects, primarily moths. Like other bats, it has an excellent sense of hearing. It is capable of using echolocation for navigation and hunting prey as well as for communication.
Unlike most bats, it does not hibernate during winter months; instead, it migrates southward when colder weather arrives.
14. Seminole Bat
The Seminole bat is one of 15 types of bats found in Alabama. This small brown bat is found near streams and swamps in wooded areas. It feeds on insects, using echolocation to navigate and locate its prey.
The Seminole bat is a federally endangered species due to habitat loss. These different types of bats in Alabama are nocturnal, so they typically roost during the day in trees or shrubs.
They are most active at dusk when they feed and then again at dawn when they search for food. They will eat their food while still flying!
15. Gray Bat
The gray bat is one of the most common types of bat found in Alabama. They are nocturnal creatures that roost in caves during the day and emerge at night to hunt for insects.
These bats have gray fur and black wings and can live up to 20 years in the wild. These bats in Alabama are an essential part of the ecosystem because they help control insect populations.
There you have it! Now you know a little more about the types of bats in Alabama that you might encounter. Learning about these creatures can help you appreciate them more and also help you be more prepared if you ever encounter one. Did this list surprise you? What type of bat are you most interested in learning about?