Hoary bats (Lasiums cinernis) exhibit continental patterns of migration that are unique to bats, but details about their behaviors during migration are lacking. We captured 177 hoary bats in spring and early summer 2002 as individuals migrated through the Sandia Mountains of north-central New Mexico. Our results support earlier observations of asynchronous timing of migration between sexes of L. cinernis during spring, with females preceding males by ca. 1 month. We provide the first evidence that hoary bats may travel in dispersed groups, fly below the tree canopy along streams, and feed while migrating during spring. Analysis of guano revealed that diet of L. cinereus consisted mostly of moths, with more than one-half of samples identified as Noctuidae and Geometridae. We observed a late-spring decline in consumption of moths that might be related to seasonal changes in abundance of prey, differential selection of prey by bats, or sampling bias. We suspect that spring migration of L. cinernis through New Mexico temporally coincides with the seasonal abundance of moths.
Additional publication details
Food habits of the hoary bat (LASIURUS CINEREUS) during spring migration through new mexico