Bats like you and I are mammals, but unlike us bats can fly. Other mammals can jump and glide but bats are unique amongst all other mammals as they are capable of sustained powered fight! They also love eating insect but thatís a slightly less attractive quality.
Unlike birds that grow feathers from their arms to create wings, bats have extra long fingers and stretch a thick layer of skin from these to their feet to make their wings.
Again like us bats give birth to live young which are called pups (they donít lay eggs). Normally bats will give birth to a single pup which will be fed on milk from their mother until they are developed and strong enough to start flying and go after insects.
To catch these insects bat shout at very high frequencies, which is generally higher than what we can hear, and listen to the echoes that bounce back. The quicker it bounces back the closer their meal is. This is called echolocation.
Bats in Scotland are not active all year round and when the temperature drops in winter and their insect food is not available they find a nice cool moist place to hibernate. Once everything starts getting warmer and the insects start appearing in spring so do the bats.
Out of the 17 species that are found in the UK 6 are known to occur in NE Scotland.
These are the common pipistrelle, soprano pipistrelle, nathusiuís pipistrelle, brown long-eared bat, daubentonís bat and nattererís bat.
For more information about bats in general please visit http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/about_bats.html or for specific species please visit http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/uk_bat_species.html