Created  October 2009
Last updated April 2018

Nyctalus noctula.

Photo Chantelle Kerr

Photo Chantelle Kerr

Noctules are the largest bats found in Britain.They weigh between 18-40g. with a body length of 60-62mm and a mushroom shaped tragus.

They live for 12 years. They live in open habitats. Their fur is gold/reddish brown, with a paler underside. They have a post calcareal lobe.

Their echolocation calls are loud and peak at 18 – 20 kHz and produce two sorts of alternating call

Photo Bob Cornes  Captive Noctule

Noctules in captivity often have browner fur. Some say this is because it doesn’t get bleached by urine

Noctules fly high and fast but will swoop to the ground to catch beetles.


They can be hard to distinguish from Leisler’s.


We rarely find Noctules in hibernation

Photo Bob Cornes

Photo Martin O’Connor

The Bedfordshire Bat group is licensed to keep a  female Noctule as a long term captive noctule. Her broken wing did not heal straight and she could not be released. She is a mainstay at bat group events. Shortly after she came into captivity she gave birth to a son. We were able to release him into the wild. You can read more in the articles below

A new Noctule in town2010-4-a new noctule in town
More on the Slip End noctule2010-7-The Slip End Noctule Comes of Age
Even more on the slip end noctule2011-10- noctule learns to fly
 See video of the young noctule flying at

Sadly the Noctule died in the Autumn 2013. We were very sorry to loose her as she showed so many people that bats are delightful creatures and certainly won our hearts.

See slidehow of rearing young noctule
see slideshow of our captive noctule at work and play

More information