7 things you never knew about the brown long-eared bat

Discover fascinating facts about the brown long-eared bat. 

© Hugh Clark/www.bats.org.uk
© Hugh Clark/www.bats.org.uk

1. Ear Ear

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The brown long-eared bat’s ears are almost as long as its body, although, when at rest, it often rolls them up or tucks them under its wings.

2. Rich pickings

These slow but highly manoeuvrable flyers hunt in open woodland where they specialise in gleaning prey from foliage, although they will also take insects in flight.

3. Look and listen

Brown long-eareds are not as reliant on sonar as most bats. They use their huge ears to listen for the rustling sounds made by moving insects and also use their eyes to spot prey.

4. Late starters

Despite their use of visual cues, brown long-eareds don’t emerge from their roosts until an hour or so after sunset – later than most bat species.

5. Brown field sites

The brown long-eared bat is widespread and fairly common across Europe. It occurs throughout mainland UK but not on Orkney, Shetland or the Outer Hebrides.

6. Grey areas

The brown long-eared bat was split into two species in the 1960s, the other being the much rarer grey long-eared bat, which, in Britain, is confined to the far south of England.

7. Long lives

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Brown long-eared bats have been known to live as long as 22 years, but they usually reach only four or five.