One of the most commonly observed bats around southern Ontario, including the Greater Toronto Area, although they are less common further north of here. If you see a bat in your garden or in the park in the evening, there is a good chance it is one of these! Big browns here seem to be doing well, but they are susceptible to White Nose Syndrome, so it is important to keep an eye on them.
This is one of our smallest bats. Its range is primarily further south in the states, but they do extend some way into southern Ontario. The tri-colored bat was previously named the eastern pipistrelle, but was recently reclassified. They are susceptible to White Nose Syndrome, and are provincially and federally endangered.
Little Brown Myotis
Previously one of our most common bats in Ontario, little brown myotis have declined hugely since White Nose Syndrome reached Ontario. Monitoring of their hibernation sites by the Ministry of Natural Resources observed declines of around 92%! Despite these declines, little brown myotis are still around and it is important to learn more about how the remaining populations are doing.
Eastern Small-footed Myotis
These are among the rarest of Ontario’s bats. They are probably uncommon here, as Ontario is the northern extent of their range, but they are also hard to find. eastern small-footed Myotis were recently discovered roosting in rocks at ground level, which may explain some of the difficultly we have finding them!
Previously known as the ‘northern long-eared bat’, this species stands out from the other myotis in Ontario due to its larger ears. Northern myotis are Ontario’s only gleaning bats, meaning they pick insects from foliage rather than catching them in flight. As a result, they prefer forested habitat.
Hoary bats are the largest species in Ontario, and can weigh in excess of 30g. They are best known for their impressive migrations, travelling hundreds or even thousands of kilometers south to find warmer areas to overwinter. Hoary bats are solitary, roosting alone on the bark or among the branches of trees.
Eastern Red Bat
Our most colorful bat, eastern red bats can sometimes be observed chasing moths around streetlights. This species is migratory, heading south in the winter like the hoary bat and silver-haired bat. Eastern red bats are solitary, but females have large broods of around three babies a year – an unusual number for a bat.
Silver-haired bats are largely black, except for the silvery colored tips on their hairs, which gives a bright sheen to their fur. Breeding females live in small groups. This species migrates south overwinter, similar to the hoary bat and eastern red bat.