Recognition: The silver-haired bat is another medium sized bat in the microchiroptera order with an approximate length of 3 5/8 inches and a wingspan of 10-12 inches and weighing in at ¼ to ½ ounce. Their fur is usually dark, black to dark brown with the tips of the hair a silver color giving the effect of ice on the tips of the fur. The ears are short round and without hair. This bat will live around 10-12 years. An interesting tidbit of information on this bat: the scientific name for this bat means “night wandering shaggy bat.”
Range: The Silver-haired bat travels from as far north as Alaska, southern Canada, all the US except maybe Florida and in parts of Mexico. These bats are primarily in the Northern areas of the country and are generally scarce in most of their areas. The greatest amount of these bats are located in the Northern rockies. From Idaho and Wyoming up into Canada. Also found in New York and New England.
Habitats: This bat is usually solitary in nature but sometimes a pair will be found roosting. They usually roost in trees, under bark and sometimes woodpecker holes. Also found under rocks,wood piles, cliff faces. They also roost fairly high from the ground, between 13 39 feet. They will seldom use a roost for more than a couple of days. The nurseries may have 6 to 55 individuals and even these nurseries will shift to a different roost periodically. These bats are 10 times more likely to be roosting in old growth forest rather than cut areas.
Food Habits: The Silver-haired Bat is a very slow flier with only the Pipistrelle being possibly slower. As with all bats they are opportunistic eaters but these bats mostly eat soft bodied insects such as moths, flies, wasps, midges, leafhoppers, mosquitoes, ants, crickets and larvae from the trees.
Problems: This is one of the most abundant bats in the northern United states however one of the threats for its decline is its preference for roosts over 33 feet above the ground make it very susceptible to timber harvest. Some of the predators for these mammals are the skunks, owls, feral cats and raccoons.