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|Range of N.noctula|
Common noctule bats hibernate in winter, and sometimes congregate in hibernation colonies of up to 1000 individuals. Tree holes are not warm enough so they search caves, objects like church steeples or blocks of flats in Eastern Europe, where they are most common hibernating bat species in the cities. Sometimes summer territories and hibernating places are hundreds of kilometres apart.
The common noctule uses two main calls for echolocation. The frequencies of the first are 26–47 kHz, have most energy at 27 kHz and an average duration of 11.5ms. The frequency of the second call is 22–33 kHz, having most energy at 22 kHz and an average duration of 13.8ms.
Small to medium-sized woodlands are preferred but they may forage up to 20 km from the woodland at night. When roosting through the day, the noctule bat usually seeks out tree holes or even bat boxes attached to the tree trunks.
During the summer, male noctules are solitary or form small bachelor groups. In Europe, the species nursing area is mainly in the northern parts of the species’ distribution area. The southern boundary of the main part of the nursing area mainly follows 48°–49°N latitude. With the exception of the main breeding area, several smaller and isolated breeding areas are known – recorded in Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovenia Iberian Peninsula and Italy.
When hunting, it often starts flying in early dusk, earlier than most European bats. It flies high above the forested areas that are its preferred habitat, reaching speeds of up to 50 km/h. Common noctule bats mainly eat beetles, moths and winged ants.
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