Rhode Island Bats are the most common Northeastern bat species in Rhode Island are Little Brown, Big Brown, Red, and Eastern Pipistrelle. Rhode Island bats are furred, warm-blooded mammals with body lengths of 3 to 6 inches and wingspans ranging from 8 to 16 inches. The bones in a Rhode Island bat’s wing are similar to those in human arms and hands. The fingers are extended and connected by Rhode Island leathery, elastic skin that grows from the sides of a bat’s body. The Rhode Island bat thumbs are free from the wing’s membrane and have claws for grasping. Rhode Island bats have good eyesight and rely on vision for long-distance orientation. The Rhode Island bats rely on their hearing for night flying. Rhode Island bats have a highly sophisticated adaptation called echolocation. This enables them to use their large, well developed Rhode Island ears to navigate and catch prey in total darkness. A bat’s echolocation system makes use of ultrasonic sound pulses and echoes to locate Rhode Island objects. Rhode Island bats open their mouths in flight and emit a series of ultrasonic sound pulses. These pulses bounce off nearby objects such as bushes, fences, branches and insects, then return as echoes to the Rhode Island bat’s ears. Using the Rhode Island information gathered from these echoes, a bat can maneuver to capture an insect or avoid flying into an object.
Rhode Island bats live in a variety of habitats, including wetlands, fields, forests, cities, suburbs, and agricultural areas. They usually feed in areas where insects swarm, such as over water and Rhode Island agricultural fields, in forest clearings, along forest edges, and around street lights. Rhode Island bats are insect eaters, mostly nocturnal and almost always feed “on the wing”. Rhode Island bats use their wings, the skin around their tails, and their mouths to scoop small insects out of the air. A Rhode Island bat can consume nearly 50 percent of its body weight in insects in a single night. This can be very beneficial to Rhode Island humans as bats are the only major predator of night flying insects. Mosquitoes and similar “people” pests are eliminated much more efficiently by Rhode Island bats than by birds or expensive bug zappers.