They have nothing to do with mice or birds – and, contrary to persistent myths, the animals are not related to a count dracula either. The bat night with gerhard hubner near unterbrunn on sunday, to which the weismain environmental station had invited, dispelled such prejudices. Even more, the despite good weather unfortunately only five participants enjoyed it to dive into the fascinating world of the flattermanner.
"Their bad reputation have fledermause unjustly. They are wonderful, fascinating animals", said gerhard hubner at the funeral of the participants at the lookout hill near unterbrunn. He is involved in the topic as a contact person for bats in the coburg district group of the state association for the protection of birds together with dagmar papadopoulus. But he is also familiar with the local flora and fauna: hubner is active in the landscape conservation association of the district of lichtenfels and oversees the "weidelandschat obermain" project."
"Before we start, I need some advice". Hubner gets bat-detector and bat-corder out of the trunk. Without technical help it does not work. The event, part of the already traditional international bat night, was deliberately scheduled for the late evening hours. After all, the animals are on the prowl at night in order to build up sufficient reserves for the next winter. Observing bats in the dark is naturally a bit difficult "that was just a river bat". On the banks of the river main, a hunting bat was briefly spotted in the light of the flashlight.
As a rule they are not audible
The human ear is usually unable to hear the animals – apart from children, who, according to hubner, can still perceive the frequencies of some bat species. And that's where the blessing of modern technology comes into play. The so-called bat detector makes the calls emitted by the bats at night audible to us by means of conversion. It is amazing how the small batmans hunt their prey by sophisticated echolocation. As the participants walk along the cycle path in the direction of oberbrunn, the detector suddenly emits a noise that sounds like smacking. "Now that was a coarse evening swift, which is characteristic for this species", hubner clarifies and provides with a comparison to the human horwelt for astonished faces: "on our frequency the call of the coarse evening glider sounded like a jackhammer." hunting high in the air, the animals have to acoustically overprint rough spaces to locate their prey.
Not all bats are the same, the participants learn. This starts with the coarse – from the tiny dwarf bat to the coarse mouse-eared bat, which specializes mainly in running oats and has a wingspan of around 40 centimeters – and is also reflected in the call of the respective species reproduced by the bat detector. Hubner's work has naturally given him a keen ear – and a little later he is able to announce the next good news: the "plopping noise" from the detector came from a specimen of said dwarf bat. A barred bat and a rough-skinned bat were also on the prowl that evening.
A look over the edge of the plate
Hubner obviously enjoys sharing his knowledge and his enthusiasm for the processes in nature with the participants. In no time at all, an almost friendly feeling of togetherness spreads through the group. And the expert looks beyond the bat's plate now and then. "That was just a "rough hayhorse", he says, for example, after the detector has reported acoustically again.
Bat-corder recorded 46 calls
Hubner rooted the excursion in all kinds of information, telling us about the "weeklies," for example, the roosts where the pregnant female bats congregate to give birth to their young. Social thermoregulation has a rough meaning. The mothers huddled closely together, warning each other during periods of bad weather. "This shows that bats are also very social animals", hubner emphasizes. The bat flight paths also influence the construction of trenches and wind turbines, he says, another aspect of how knowledge of the animals' way of life is applied.
The participants listened to the calls of the nocturnal hunters with the excursion leader for about two very entertaining hours. The bat-corder recorded a total of 46 calls.