The end of October is finally here, which means Halloween is right around the corner. Bat Week is a great time to recognize a Halloween-themed favorite we have right here in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Big Brown Bat is most easily seen about 20 minutes after sunset. However, as the winter months get closer, the Big Brown Bat is likely to be hibernating in caves and large mines. During the warmer parts of the year, Big Brown Bats live in trees, caves, tunnels, and bat boxes.
The tail, wings, ears, and nose of the brown bat is black. Whereas the body of the bat is brown above and lighter below. The Big Brown Bat is one of the largest bats, growing up to 5.25 inches with wingspans of up to 16 inches. These bats are foragers, and mainly use their large jaws to eat moths and flying beetles. They are also known to eat flies, wasps, dragonflies, and ants.
Due to the continued habitat loss for bats in Oklahoma, coupled with the warmer temperatures, the Big Brown Bat is not commonly seen. However, most Big Brown Bats that live in Oklahoma today live together in clusters. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation provides an excellent introduction to native bats in Oklahoma, with a free field guide online.