Bats in Washington

15 species of bats are native to Washington. The most common of these, i.e., the ones humans are most likely to come into contact with, are the Big Brown Bat, the Yuma Myotis, the Little Brown Bat, and the Pallid Bat.

The Hoary Bat is the largest in the state, with a wingspan of around 16-17 inches, while the Canyon Bat is the smallest, with a wingspan of 7-9 inches.

Bats in Washington (WA)

Different Types of Bats in Washington

Vesper Bats (Vespertilionidae)

  • Big Brown Bat
  • California Myotis
  • Canyon Bat
  • Fringed Myotis
  • Hoary Bat
  • Keen’s Myotis
  • Little Brown Bat
  • Long-eared Myotis
  • Long-legged Myotis
  • Pallid Bat
  • Silver-haired Bat
  • Spotted Bat
  • Townsend’s Big-eared Bat
  • Western Small-footed Myotis
  • Yuma Myotis

Bat Watching in Washington

Different species have varied approaches to hunting, which is the best time to watch these creatures in action. For instance, the Yuma Myotis will glide over the surface of water bodies and grab any insects hovering about. On the other hand, the Big Brown Bats will fly around the fringes of forests and woods and consume insects that fail to distinguish their silhouette against the night sky, and the Pallid Bats will swoop down on unsuspecting prey on the ground.


1. Are bats protected in Washington state?

In Washington state, every bat species is protected and cannot be legally killed, trapped, or hurt in any manner.

2. Are vampire bats in Washington state?

No, there aren’t any vampire bats in the state of Washington. All bats living here are insectivorous.

3. Do bats hibernate or migrate in Washington state during winter?

When it gets colder, certain bats fly down south to warmer places. The bats that undergo migration like this tend to live in trees, like the Silver-haired Bat or the Hoary Bat.
Meanwhile, bats living in caves prefer to undergo hibernation in sites called a “hibernaculum.” These sites must protect the bats from predation, dehydration, and freezing and are generally places like crevices, cavities in large trees, mines, attics of certain buildings, tunnels, and wells. Bats known for doing this include the Little Brown Bat.

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