On Saturday, 15th of September 2018, from 16.00 to 22.00, the Center for Bat Research and Conservation organized the Cluj-Napoca edition of the International Bat Night. The event took place in the “Alexandru Borza” Botanical Garden, more precisely in the Japanese Garden and the Roman Garden, held in parallel in Romanian and Hungarian languages. We thank our partners for the active engagement:

  • City Hall of Cluj-Napoca
  • Tourist Information Center of Cluj-Napoca
  • Visit Cluj
  • “Alexandru Borza” Botanical Garden
  • “Emil Racoviță” Institute of Speleology
  • Natura Transilvaniei Association
  • Faculty of Biology and Geology, Babeş-Bolyai University
  • University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine
  • “Vlady, a cute vampire” blog
  • “Avenul” Caver Club, Brașov
  • Amateur Caver’s Club, Cluj
  • BW Photo Booth

We estimate that approximately 800 visitors attended the event. We thank everyone for their interest, as well as the Botanical Garden, Babeş-Bolyai University, for allowing free entrance during the event. We already published a selection of photos about the event on the Lilieci.ro Facebook page, but you can see below some of the most successful ones. We thank Pan Ioan and Szilárd-Lehel Bücs for their photos.

The event in Cluj-Napoca included also an audio-visual trail, through which visitors had the chance to listen to typical bat ultrasounds. We promised that these sounds will also be available on the Lilieci.ro portal. Hence, we offer below these, accompanied by the necessary explanations. We recommend listening to them with headphones, but in safety.

Precise, as a whistle: horseshoe bats

At over 79 kHz, horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus species) emit the ultrasounds with the highest frequencies among Romanian and European species. This typical whistle allows them to navigate so accurately that they can avoid any obstacle and capture any insect easily, with an unparalleled precision among bats.

The ultrasound of the inevitable

An increasingly fast ultrasound sequence, which precedes the actual capture of insects. If you ever see a bat flying, then making a sharp turn, and then recovering to a nice flight, it means that at each of these suddenly turns the bat had captured an insect. And this always preceded by the ultrasound of the inevitable.

Targeted, like a whisper: long-eared bats

Compared to their body size, long-eared bats (Plecotus species) have the longest ears in Romania’s fauna, close to the length of their body. These ears are needed to capture the echoes of very low, whisper-like ultrasounds, through which these species can even spot insects lying motionless on leaves.

Bat bazaar: or who’s the loudest

Bats communicate with each other through so-called social sounds. If we listened to a colony, it would sound like a real chatter, a crowded and loud market with talks between mothers and newborns, males arguing on food or on territory, as well as courtship songs.

The screamer: the noctule

If you ever see a bat flying well over the treeline and in a fairly straight line, before dusk, it is very likely that you see a noctule (Nyctalus noctula). And for a good orientation in this open space, the noctule must actually scream for a good echo.

Trawling along: “water” bats

Contrary to their name, water bats do not live in water, but prefer to hunt insects on water surfaces, sometimes even fish. They do this by flying over the water and by using their long legs, as well as the membrane between them. Their every movement is guided by their specific ultrasound.

See you next year for the 2019 Cluj-Napoca edition of the International Bat Night!