A long-eared bat in flight against a black background

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Bats in flight identification guide

If you are lucky, or know where to look, you might have seen at least one of the UK’s 18 species of bats shooting through the sky between dusk and dawn. They feed largely on the wing, specially adapted to take advantage of nocturnal insects in the night sky.

Telling the different species apart by sight can be difficult, but this guide outlines key details to look out for to identify five of our most common species, including echolocation calls (high-pitched sounds that bats use to navigate and hunt) for those with access to a bat detector.