Eastern Red Bat, Lasiurus borealis

Red Bat at Rest

I discovered this Eastern Red BatLasiurus borealis, roosting at eye-level in a pin oak on a late October day. I though it was a ball of leaves or a large gall at first. The red bat is migratory. It hibernates as well; not in caves, but rather in hollow trees or even in leaf litter. It can wrap in its distinctive furry tail for extra insulation. I am not too certain about the fate of this bat. I found it initially on the day before a long patch of cold, wet late October weather blew through. About a week later it was still there–still alive–with even nastier weather due. A week after that it was gone. They can hibernate in relatively exposed places because their shorter ears, thicker fur and extra-furry tail give them more protection from cold than the cave-hibernating varieties of bats. However, this one had to be pushing the envelope to survive so in this case. Perhaps it dropped to the leaf litter, then moved further south when the weather broke. I will never know.