What do bats say at night?


There are 18 species of bat in the UK. All of them eat insects and each species targets specific insect types and hunts them in its own particular way. All bats have very large appetites as flying is energy intensive. A common pipistrelle for example can eat over 3,000 small insects in a one night.

Bats hunt by emitting high frequency calls which create ‘echoes’ from the objects in front of them – a system called echolocation – which they also use to navigate. Bat calls are usually too high pitched for the human ear but they can be heard or recorded using a bat detector. Individual bat species emit calls with specific characteristics related to their size, flight behaviour, environment and types of prey. This means that with the aid of bat detectors we can identify many species by listening to their calls or recording them for sound analysis later on.

If you would like to hear some of these bat calls then click on the following – you’ll note the audible difference between species:

Horseshoe bat

Specialized anatomical features involved in echolocation seen on rare bat in the family Rhinolophidae

Noctule bat

noctule new

Feeding Buzz of a Pipistrelle Bat

pipistralle bat


REC is fortunate enough to have licences to monitor and survey bats including surveys by torch, endoscope, and hand-held nets as well as handling (Using our Class 2 licensed ecologists). The main bat survey season is May to August, however other types of bat surveys can be undertaken during the winter months including swarming surveys and hibernation checks.

If you would like to know more about bat surveys or require support in relation to a particular scheme, please contact the team at  0845 676 9303 or email info@recltd.co.uk.