Sometimes referred to as the ‘water bat’, the Daubenton’s bat forages for small flies, such as chironomid midges, caddisflies and mayflies, just above water. They use their feet and tail to scoop up the flies when foraging. Daubenton’s bats also roost near water, under bridges or in tunnels, and in holes in trees. Overwinter hibernation sites are underground and include caves, tunnels and mines. Its dependence on water sources for food means any changes in water quality can affect food availability. However, there is some evidence the population may be starting to increase, possibly due to an increase in artificial water sources, such as gravel pits and reservoirs.
How to identify
It’s a small-medium sized bat with fluffy brownish fur which is pale silver/grey underneath and a pinkish face.
Where to find it
Widespread in the UK. Look out for it foraging over water at twilight with its fast, agile flight.
When to find it
How can people help
The Wildlife Trusts are working hard to restore our native habitats. You can help our bats in your own garden, too, by putting up a bat box. Pick a tree that gets some sun during the day, but is near to a hedge or other trees. All UK bats and their roosts are protected by law, which means it is illegal to harm or disturb them.