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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. The 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 the flight pattern, emergence time in relation to sunset, habitat and location of roost.

Bats are the only mammals that can fly. They occur across the world except in the Arctic and the Antarctic, and there are over a thousand species of bats. Britain is home to 16 species from 2 families: 2 species of horseshoe bats (Family: Rhinolophidae) and14 species of vesper or evening bats (Family: Vespertilionidae). All British bats eat insects including beetles, moths, flies and midges. All British bats 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,

The FSC Bats guide was produced in partnership with the Mammal Society.


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