There are many different types of bats in Nebraska, and you may have seen some of them in your backyard, at your local park, or cave but never knew they were bats!
Whether they live in the park or cave you visit or the forested areas around you, bats play an important role in nature, helping to control the insect population and pollinate plants.
Discover the different types of bats in Nebraska with this complete guide!
1. Big Brown Bat
Big brown bats are the most common of Nebraska’s types of bats. They have a wingspan of 11-13 inches. Big brown bats prefer living near water but will also inhabit trees or buildings. These types of bats in Nebraska feed on insects, and their favorite food is moths.
Female big brown bats have a gestation period of only 50-60 days and can give birth to one baby per year.
This is one of the most common types of bat in Nebraska and can be found near the water or on trees. They are typically 2-4 inches long and weigh about 1/4 oz.
2. Hoary Bat
The Hoary Bat is among the largest types of bats in Nebraska, native to the United States, and can be found in every state except Hawaii.
This bat’s grayish-brown fur has white spots on its back, which fade as it ages. The Hoary Bat ranges from three to four inches long and weighs between one and two ounces.
One of the most distinctive features of the Hoary Bat is its large ears that help it find prey in complete darkness.
One can tell this bat apart from others by listening to its high-pitched squeaks. The Hoary Bat is a small bat found in North America.
It has a light-colored body with dark brown or black fur on its wings. The Hoary Bat is an insectivore and eats insects like crickets, beetles, and moths.
In addition, these types of bats in Nebraska have large eyes that help them see better in the dark and have well-developed ears that can help them find prey more easily by picking up the sound they make.
3. Silver-haired Bat
The silver-haired bat is one of the most common types of bats in Nebraska. It can be found all over the state, especially in forested areas. The silver-haired bat has light brown fur and dark eyes.
They are around 3 inches long with a wingspan of about 4 to 5 inches. These types of bats in Nebraska get their name from the silver hair that covers the back half of their body, and their belly fur is yellowish-white.
The silver-haired bat feeds on small insects like mosquitoes, flies, and moths which they eat while they fly through the night sky with their mouths open wide.
The silver-haired bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans) is the most common among the types in North America. Silver-haired bats are often misidentified as Mexican free-tailed bats, but they have a much larger range than the latter species and tend to roost in groups, while Mexican free-tailed bats roost alone.
These types of bats in Nebraska also have a long tail almost as wide as their body, which is not true for Mexican free-tailed bats.
4. Little Brown Bat
The most common type of bat in Nebraska is the Little Brown Bat. These types of bats in Nebraska live in forested areas and can be found statewide. The most common type of bat in Nebraska is the Little Brown Bat.
They are also one of the smallest, with an average length of around 3-4 inches. These types of bats in Nebraska live in a wide range of habitats and can be found roosting in trees, buildings, or under rocks.
If a bat’s habitat becomes too polluted or its roosting site is disturbed, it may be forced to hibernate during the winter.
These types of bats in Nebraska have been known to eat all flying insects like mosquitoes and moths, as well as small fruits and nectar from flowers.
5. Eastern Red Bat
Eastern Red bats are typically found in the eastern United States, but their range extends into the Great Plains states and Canada.
These types of bats in Nebraska roost in trees, under rock overhangs, and in caves, buildings, and bridges. Their diet consists mainly of mosquitoes and other insects.
They have a wingspan of 11 to 13 inches and can weigh up to 1/2 ounce. These types of bats in Nebraska have a red tint to their fur and can be distinguished by white markings on their faces and ears.
6. Tricolored Bat
The tricolored bat, also known as the Eastern Pipistrelle, is a small bat found in North America. It has a body length of about 2.2-2.4 inches.
The tricolored types of bats in Nebraska is most active at dusk but can also be spotted during the day.
They live in caves, abandoned mines, crevices in rock walls, and buildings close to water sources like rivers and lakes.
Most importantly, they are solitary feeders meaning they hunt alone rather than with a group like most other bats do.
This means they have more time to focus on catching prey instead of dividing their attention between feeding and avoiding predation by predators looking for an easy meal, such as owls or raccoons.
The tricolored bat is a small bat that weighs about three grams. These types of bats in Nebraska are found in the southwestern United States, Mexico, and Central America.
7. Northern Long-eared Bat
The Northern Long-eared Bat is a relatively small bat with large ears that help it find prey in the dark. These types of bats in Nebraska can be found in most states but is more common in the eastern U.S. and Canada.
The Northern Long-eared Bat prefers to live near water and eats many insects, including beetles, mosquitoes, moths, and wasps.
These types of bats in Nebraska are found in various habitats, including old barns, caves, rock outcroppings, and wood piles.
These bats hibernate from October to April/May, depending on their location and climate zone, and are most active at night during summer or dusk until dawn during winter.
If you are looking for bats in Nebraska, then the Northern Long-eared Bat might be the one to look for. These types of bats in Nebraska have a wingspan of around 11 inches and are found throughout the state.
8. Evening Bat
The evening bat (Nycticeius humeralis) is one of the most common types of bats. However, it is only found in the eastern half of the United States as they migrate south in winter. They typically roost in trees and shrubs near water sources.
This species mainly eats moths, beetles, and other small insects like flies or mosquitoes. The evening types of bats in Nebraska have a long lifespan of 16 years on average and reach sexual maturity at two years old.
9. Townsend’s Big-eared Bat
These types of bats in Nebraska have a body length of 1-1/8 to 1-3/4 inches. Its ears are large, they have a wingspan of 12-15 inches, and the males have bright orange or brown fur paler on the belly. Females are lighter in color and have shorter ears than males.
These types of bats in Nebraska live in caves during the day and forage for food at night, preferring to eat moths, beetles, and other night-flying insects.
The Townsend’s Big-eared Bat was considered extinct until it was rediscovered in 1969 near La Grande, Oregon, by Dr. Merlin D.
10. Mexican Free-tailed Bat
Mexican Free-tailed types of bats in Nebraska are some of the most common bat species. And in several other countries around the world. For example, the Mexican free-tailed bat is North America’s most common bat species.
The largest colonies of Mexican free-tailed bats are found in Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico, where they roost in natural caves or abandoned mines.
They are nocturnal and feed primarily on insects. These types of bats in Nebraska can also live as long as 14 years.
11. Western Small-footed Myotis
The Western Small-footed Myotis is a small bat with a dark brown or black body and a pinkish to reddish-brown head. This species is found in the Pacific Northwest, Great Basin, and Rocky Mountains.
These types of bats in Nebraska are solitary creatures that live alone in trees or under loose bark and hibernate during cold winters. These types of bats in Nebraska feed on insects and can fly as fast as nine miles per hour.
The Western Small-footed Myotis has been roosting in abandoned buildings such as barns or garages. It can also be found in cracks and crevices inside old buildings, where it feeds on insects attracted to lighted windows at night.
12. Long-eared Myotis
The Long-eared Myotis are small types of bats in Nebraska with a wingspan of about 7 inches. They are dark brown or black, and their ears are long and rounded, measuring about 1/2 inch from the base to the tip. They feed on insects, including flies, beetles, and moths.
Common in the eastern United States during summer months, these types of bats in Nebraska do not migrate. Instead, they hibernate during winter as far south as Texas and Florida.
The Long-eared Myotis is one of several species found in Nebraska, with many concentrated along the Platte River corridor in Douglas County near Kearney.
13. Fringed Myotis
The fringed myotis is a cave-dwelling bat found throughout the United States. These types of bats in Nebraska are typically found in the deep recesses of caves, mines, and other underground sites. These bats are brown with reddish-brown hair on their backs and wings.
Fringe along their ears and nose give them their name. The fringed myotis have been seen as far south as Ecuador, where they roost in caves. Females usually have one pup per year and can breed up to three times in a lifetime.
Males typically have two to four litters per year, which may lead to some competition for females within the population. In addition, the fringed myotis feeds on insects such as beetles, moths, wasps, and ants.
14. Cave Myotis
The myotis is the most common among the types of bats in Nebraska. They are not picky eaters and will eat insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and other small mammals. They roost in caves or buildings and are often found near water sources.
The cave myotis has a body about four inches long with a wingspan of 10-11 inches wingspan. They have large ears and have a cute appearance with fuzzy brown fur on their backs, white fur on their stomachs, and black faces with little yellow eyes.
The brown bat is not only the most common among the types of bat in Nebraska but also the smallest species.
They are usually found near water sources like creeks and streams. The Eastern red bat is a medium-sized species that often hang upside down from tree branches or uses buildings for roosting.
The hoary types of bats in Nebraska can be found throughout Europe and North America. Some are cute and harmless, like the Mexican free-tailed bat, but others may surprise you. The hoary bat is small and furry, with a wingspan of about ten inches.