How Fast Do Bats Fly?

Bat flying speeds vary by the species, but they can range from 12 mph up to 40 to 60 mph. The Mexican free-tailed bat is one of the fastest, flying at speeds up to 60 mph.

Bats are nocturnal mammals capable of flight. Despite their reputation, these creatures are mild-mannered and even helpful for humans. They use their ability to fly for hunting insects and small amphibians, and they even seek out fruit high in trees for food. There are many species of bats around the world, and in flight their speeds vary a lot. The average bat flies at 20 wing beats per second. This corresponds to a speed of between 12 to 60 mph. The bat's average speed variance doesn't always depend on their size, or whether or not the bat is diving or chasing food.

For instance, a little brown bat has up to a 10.6 inch wingspan, and it can achieve speeds up to 22 mph. Its average cruising speed is a much more sedate 12 mph. The Mexican free-tailed bat can achieve speeds up to 60 mph with only a slight increase in wingspan up to 12.5 inches.