• Bats
  • Bats
  • Bats

Bats guide

The FSC Bats guide is an identification guide to all 16 British species.

The name trail is great for identifying any bats found at rest during the day. Straightforward yes/no questions will quickly guide you to the colour illustrations for each species.

For bats in flight at night, a bat detector is a good way to identify species. So for each bat species, this guide includes both:

  • The calls typically heard when using a heterodyne detector.
  • Frequency range, peak frequency and sonogram when using a time expansion detector.

But even without a bat detector, useful clues to species level can be gained by observing flight pattern, emergence time after dusk, habitat and location of roost.

Bats are the only mammals that can fly. Occurring worldwide, there are more than a thousand species. Britain is home to 16 species from 2 families: 2 species of horseshoe bats (Family: Rhinolophidae) and 14 species of vesper or evening bats (Family: Vespertilionidae). All British bats eat insects, including beetles, moths, flies and midges. They navigate and locate their insect prey by echolocation: making high frequency ultrasonic calls and listening for the pattern of returning echoes. During the summer, female bats form nursery colonies in trees and buildings in which to raise their young (typically having only one infant per year). During the winter months when there are few insects to feed on, both sexes hibernate in trees, buildings or caves. Declining British bat populations have led to increasing concern about their conservation.

The FSC Bats guide was co-created with the Mammal Society.