The common long-eared bat is the second most common bat in the UK and is a highly agile hunter, using its unusually large ears to listen for prey.

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Food and Hunting

Although they are able to use sonar for echo-location of their prey, the long eared bat relies on this method less than other bats; it is sometimes called the ‘whispering bat’ because it hunts so quietly.  Instead, it used its large ears to listen for the sound of prey rustling leaves and its large eyes to spot the food. 

Common long-eared bats emerge from their roosts fairly late in the evening, but are active all night. They fly at a height of 2-7m (occasionally up to 20m), and often glide or hover near foliage, from which they pick off insects. They fly slowly but are very manoeuvrable and can dart at prey when they hear it. They will often follow a route along a hedgerow or along a river to guide them when looking for food. 

The grey long eared bat will eat all kinds of invertebrates such as flies, earwigs, beetles and moths. If the prey is small, they will eat it in mid air, but with larger moths, the bat will carry the prey to a perch and eat it whilst hanging upside down!

Read More: Breeding

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