Scientific Name
Lasiurus cinereus
Global Conservation Status (IUCN)
Least Concern
North America, New York

Hoary bats feed primarily on moths, though they also regularly eat beetles, flies, crickets and true bugs.  

Fun Fact: Bats produce echolocation by releasing high frequency sound through their mouth or nose and listening to the echo. With this echo, the bat can figure out the objects in their environment.

In addition to their usual echolocation calls, Hoary bats produce short, quiet “micro calls“. Hoary bats will also sometimes fly and navigate without using echolocation.   

Appearance: Hoary bats are relatively large, weighing between 20 – 35 grams. They are distinctive in appearance, with dark fur tinged with white (produced a frosty or hoary effect for which they are named), a buffy yellow throat patch, and dramatic two-toned wing patterns.  

Habitat: Hoary bats are uncommon but widespread throughout most of North America and ranging into Central America. They roost solitarily in trees, with preferences including maple, oak, ash, elder, hemlock, and redwood trees.  

Hoary bats undergo seasonal migration, moving from summer ranges across most of North America to southern and coastal winter habitats. Hoary bats will also hibernate for short periods of time.   

Echolocation: Echolocation calls of Hoary bats are around 20-30 kHz, just above maximum human hearing range.  

Conservation Concerns: Wind energy and turbine collisions are a major conservation concern for Hoary bats. Hoary bats make up the largest proportion of bat fatalities at wind energy facilities in North America.  

Based on wind energy mortality, the Hoary bat population is predicted to experience severe declines in the next 50 years, though management efforts such as turbine curtailment show promise for reducing this risk.  

Other threats may include deforestation and human disturbance, particularly in their southern wintering grounds.   

Bat Conservation International projects including the hoary bat 

Countries: Canada, Guatemala, Mexico, United States 

Additional Resources: 
Bat Species of the World 
IUCN Red List 

Approximate Range