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Eastern Red Bat (Lasiurus borealis)

The eastern red bat is a species that is known to live throughout North, Central, and South America. Their distribution ranges from southern Canada, throughout much of the United States, Mexico, Central, and South America (as far south as Chile and Argentina). They are not a species that is commonly found in urban areas but will live in areas partially inhabited by people.

They prefer the wooded and forested areas throughout the Americas and can be found roosting within the dense foliage of trees. Because of their coloring, they are able to easily blend into their roosting site among the foliage.

Color and Size

The eastern red bat ranges in color from a brick red to a yellowish-red with their fur having white tips. It has also been observed that the females of the species tend to have a more prominent white tip while the males have a brighter red color. They also vary in size from 3.5 to4.5 inches in length and they weigh from 7 to 13 grams.

Diet and Behavior

These insectivores catch their prey while in flight. Their preferred prey includes flies, moths, beetles, ants, and planthoppers. They are a migratory and hibernating species that travels north in mid-April and south in mid to late October. Some have been seen remaining in their northern ranges to overwinter, but this is not common behavior for these bats. They must hibernate in hollow trees in areas where they can have weather above freezing because they cannot take long periods of below freezing temperatures.

Eastern red bats mate in flight in August or September before they migrate for hibernation. The female stores the sperm until she emerges in the spring. Female eastern reds give birth to twins once a year. These pups are able to fly and become independent by 5 weeks of age.