Plants & Gardens Blog

Eastern Red Bat Roosts in the Discovery Garden

This eastern red bat recently stopped by the Discovery Garden to roost.

Staff spotted the female tree bat in an eastern red bud one day last month and snapped this photo, says Meera Jagroop, manager of the Discovery Garden and Family Programs.

"This species is one of the most common bats moving through New York City in the autumn, as they migrate to warmer parts of the county. Eastern red bats (Lasiurus borealis) are a tree-roosting species and spend the day hanging like a leaf from the foliage," says Bradley Klein, a naturalist who leads regular nature walks at Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

"Since they don’t roost or hibernate in caves, they have been largely spared the epidemic of white nose syndrome that has killed literally millions of cave-roosting bats in the Northeast," he says. Females, like this one, are brownish. Males of the species are a more vivid red.

Eastern red bats eat a wide variety of insects, including flies, true bugs , beetles, cicadas, and moths, including many pests like gypsy moths and tent caterpillar moths. They likely visit the Garden regularly during spring, summer, fall, and into winter, but they are seldom seen due to their excellent camouflage.

"In my many years of birding in New York, I’ve only seen a handful of bats roosting in the daytime of any species. So this was a really unusual event," says Klein.

More: Bradley Klein’s next monthly Nature Walk is Sunday, November 18.

Sarah Schmidt is a former editor of BBG's digital editorial content and the Guides for a Greener Planet handbook series.


  • Bradley Klein October 18, 2018

    BBG’s November Nature Walk is Sunday 11/18/18, 11–noon. Meets at Magnolia Plaza!

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Image, top of page: Sarah Schmidt