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Detecting & Recording

A Bat Detector is a simple, handheld device that listens to the frequencies that bats use to hunt and find their way at night. It converts these frequencies to tones and clicks that humans can hear. Think of it as translator. Most Bat Detectors are the size of a packet of cigarettes and have a special microphone that picks up the echolocation calls of bats. The sound of bats that you will pick up on a detector will depend on the exact species of bat in your area, but basically you will hear a series of clicks, tocks and smacks that vary in rhythm, duration and structure. You will hear the ever present and amazing "feeding buzz" as a bat closes in on a flying insect and finally devours it. High intensity bat calls will be heard as small screams or chirps. Bat calls vary greatly and there is much information "hidden" in these short burst of sound energy. Using a personal computer (PC) with a bat detector allows you to record and then "slow down" these bats calls.


There are two main types of bat detector that we supply at Bat Planet, but these vary further to suit different requirements and budgets. Frequency division detectors are the simplest form of detector, allowing you to listen to the whole frequency spectrum at the same time, meaning you will never miss a bat. Heterodyne detectors on the other hand, require you to tune the dial to the frequency of the bat, meaning that there is the possibility you will miss the sound altogether, or even be unaware of the presence of bats. The advantages, however, of heterodyne detectors is that by tuning into the frequency of the call, the result can help you to determine the species of bat that you are listening to. In addition, you are likely to get a cleaner sound, which often appears more 'tonal' than the sounds from a frequency division detector. For more details, and the full range of different units, please visit our product pages.


Most of our detectors come with an audio output jack which enables the recording of sounds either to a standard audio recording device or to a computer, you can buy software which then enables you to analyze these recordings.