Common noctule

Nyctalus noctula

Undetermined bat species, photo: Kristi Kirsimaa

Common noctules are the largest bats in Estonia. On average, they are 64–81 mm long and weight 30.3–39.2 g. Their back is brick red and brown, the stomach is pale beige, and the ears and patagium are dark brown. Young noctules are completely dark grey. They live in big parks and gardens with old and tall broad-leaved trees. They mostly feed on larger insects – cockchafers, summer chafers, and butterflies. Their fly for a short time and can mostly be seen flying in late evenings and early mornings. During daytime, they hide in the hollow stems of high broad-leaved trees. Common noctules love peace and do not want to be disturbed. They are rather rare and also under protection. The species is endangered by the loss of habitats and the lack of hiding places. They are rather rare and also, under protection (protection category II). More than 65 species of mammals have been registered in Estonia, 14 of which are bats or Chiroptera. There are about 500,000 bats in Estonia. In Tallinn, their most important feeding places are Kadriorg Park, Pirita River Valley, Raku lakes, the area surrounding Ülemiste Lake, Astangu, and Rocca al Mare.