New York Natural Heritage Program
Silver-haired Bat
Lasionycteris noctivagans (Le Conte, 1831)
Mammals

Habitat [-]
Silver-haired bats occur in forested habitats, perhaps especially ones dominated by conifers. However, specific habitat in New York and their eastern range remains understudied. They forage in or near forests and water sources. Merriam (1886) reported that silver-haired bats notably foraged over water in the Adirondacks including over streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds and also along the edges and in the canopy of hardwoods. Francl (2008) reported disproportionate use of large pools by silver-haired bats compared to small and medium-sized ones in the northern Great Lakes Region.

The silver-haired bat is often characterized (along with the Lasiurus species) as a "migratory tree bat" that overwinters in southern latitudes and roosts in trees. They are known to roost under bark or in cracks or cavities, and occasionally in caves and buildings such as sheds with outdoor access (Krutzsch 1966; Harvey et al. 2011). Migrating individuals have also been observed within ground debris and in rock crevices (Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources n.d.).

Associated Ecological Communities [-]
  • Hemlock-northern hardwood forest*
    A mixed forest that typically occurs on middle to lower slopes of ravines, on cool, mid-elevation slopes, and on moist, well-drained sites at the margins of swamps. Eastern hemlock is present and is often the most abundant tree in the forest.

    * probable association but not confirmed
  • Pine-northern hardwood forest*
    A mixed forest that occurs on gravelly outwash plains, delta sands, eskers, and dry lake sands in the Adirondacks. The dominant trees are white pine and red pine.

    * probable association but not confirmed
  • Spruce-northern hardwood forest*
    A mixed forest that occurs on lower mountain slopes and upper margins of flats on glacial till. This is a broadly defined community with several variants; it is one of the most common forest types in the Adirondacks. Codominant trees are red spruce, sugar maple, American beech, yellow birch, and red maple, with scattered balsam fir.

    * probable association but not confirmed