Hibernation Period



The hibernation period beings towards the very end of October and the beginning of November.  Bats are beginning to return to their roosts where they plan to spend the entire winter.  Because the periods of Torpor (also referred to as hibernation) are lasting longer it is harder for bats to find food to eat, so they are preparing to save energy over the colder months.  Throughout the other months they are building up and storing fat that they are going to use for food in hibernation.


During December bats are fully hibernating.  They might be roosting on their own or in small groups (colonies) in quiet places like caves, abandoned buildings, or the attic of your home where they are hoping to not be disturbed.


January is a month bats are going to spend hibernating or in a state of torpor, where they are inactive, lower their body temperatures, slow their breathing, and lower their metabolic rate to conserve fat levels stored up.  Bats will hibernate even in areas of the world where the temperatures are even a little bit warmer than the snowy winters here in South Dakota and the Midwest.

In February bats are still hibernating but they are starting have very little fat left to live off of for the rest of the winter.

March is a different kind of month all depending upon the climate and weather in which they are hibernating.  If it is still cold during the month of March, they will most likely continue to hibernate but when it warms up enough for them on certain days they may leave to search for food and to drink water.  They will then return to their roost and go back into a slight form of torpor.

As soon as food is readily available bats will awaken and stay awake and start their year where they go on to eat thousands of insects and begin the Breeding Cycle.  To learn about the bat breeding cycle go here: