Bats in Scotland
The Hard Life of Scottish Bats
Since the climate is gentler, the nights longer, and there are more trees and insects as you go south and west, the number of Scottish species increases accordingly. So only the tough little pipistrelle lives in Orkney, whereas the central belt has around six bat species.
The hardy bats that survive the tough Scottish conditions are: three types of pipistrelle (the soprano, common and Nathusius), the brown long-eared bat, the Daubenton’s bat, the Natterer’s bat, the whispered bat, the noctule bat, and the Leisler’s bat.
As they require a huge number of insects to survive and only hunt at night, the typical Scottish short summer nights give the local bats little time to feed – and if the weather is cold, wet, and windy, hunting is not even worth the effort, since it can be difficult to find insects.
Bats at the Highland Titles Nature Reserves
The five bat species officially recognised at our Nature Reserves are: the brown long-eared bat, the soprano pipistrelle, the common pipistrelle, the Daubenton’s bat, and the noctule bat.
Brown Long-Eared Bat
With light brown fur, broad wings, and ears nearly as big as their bodies, brown long-eared bats are gleaners that often catch food in free flight. They are also known as whispering bats, since their echolocation sounds are very quiet.
Soprano & Common Pipistrelle
As the most common bat species in the UK, you are most likely to see a Pipistrelle in the wild. They are both medium to dark brown and their most significant difference is the frequency of their echolocation calls: the Soprano’s, as you may deduct, are higher in frequency.
Also known as the water bat, these red brown medium-sized bats are very steady fliers. They usually fly within centimetres of water and they are known for taking insects directly from the water surface.
As the biggest bat found in the UK, the Nocule Bat is known for its powerful and narrow wings, which allows him to fly fast and steady well above tree-top level. They mostly feed mid-flight, by catching insects with their wings.
Interesting Bat Facts
Each mother bat usually only has one baby a year, but a maternity roost may have over 100 bats.
Bats are not actually blind; but during nighttime, their ears are more useful than their eyes.
The best time for bat watching is just before dawn or at sunset during Summer.
Conservation and Protection of Bats
How are we supporting bat conservation?
Bats play a vital role as indicators of biodiversity, as pollinators, as pest controllers, and as seed dispersers and reforesters. Our main efforts to support bat protection and conservation include:
• Providing and maintaining bat boxes, which offer much-needed shelter throughout the year, no matter the weather
• Funding and working with the Bat Conservation Trust, one of the largest organisations in the UK dedicated to the conservation of bats and their habitats
• Providing educational days with local schools to teach them more about this often misunderstood mammal
Adopt a Bat
Why adopt a bat?
By adopting a bat with Highland Titles*, you will allow us to continue supporting projects to help not only local bats in our Nature Reserves, but also in Scotland, including our regular bat detector walks. It also makes a unique gift for a friend or family member.
What does it include?
Your adoption pack will include an official personalised adoption certificate, regular email updates, and the grateful thanks of our local bats (and the overall Scottish bat population)!
Adopt a Bat