Daubenton’s Bat

Daubenton’s Bat is a widespread species of bat in the county, although localized in its distribution. The species hunts almost entirely over water (ponds, lakes, rivers, etc.) where it is quite distinctive as it flies like a miniature hovercraft just above the surface of the water. Whilst foraging it is often possible to clearly see the contrast between the dark back and pale underside of the animal. The echolocation call has been described as like quiet machine gun fire. Those using a frequency division or time expansion bat detector may also notice a distinct kink in the sonogram produced by their calls. Given the foraging behaviour of the bat it is no surprise to find that the majority of roost records are from bridges or from trees close to waterways. Indeed, the sinuous lines on the distribution map almost mark the courses of our main rivers. In winter Daubenton’s bats hibernate in caves, disused mines, tunnels and other underground sites which may be some distance from water. Some cave entrances are also the location for autumnal swarming during which bats come together to mate.