Open Access
How to translate text using browser tools
1 January 2003 Does a Live Barn Owl (Tyto alba) Affect Emergence Behavior of Serotine Bats (Eptesicus serotinus)?
Klára J. Petrželková, Jan Zukal
Author Affiliations +

We studied the impact of predation risk on emergence behavior of a maternity colony of Eptesicus serotinus. Observations were made during sets of three consecutive nights — control, treatment and post-treatment. On treatment nights, a trained individual of barn owl (Tyto alba) was displayed during the emergence of the colony. Presence of the owl did not induce any significant change in the emergence parameters with exception of the degree of clustering. In pregnancy bats increased their clustering during treatment and post-treatment nights. The presence of the owl induced changes in relationships among emergence parameters. If bats emerged earlier when predation risk supposed to be higher, they increased their degree of clustering to decrease the individuals' probability of being attacked. We conclude that clustering in emergence is an important anti-predation strategy.



R. M. R. Barclay , C. E. Thomson , and F. J. S. Phelan . 1982. Screech owl, Otus asio, attempting to capture little brown bats, Myotis lucifugus, at a colony. The Canadian Field-Naturalist, 96: 205–206. Google Scholar


K. Bauer 1956. Schleiereule (Tyto alba Scop.) als Fledermausjäger. Journal of Ornithology, 97: 335–340. Google Scholar


D. J. Bullock , B. A. Combes , L. A. Eales . 1987. Analysis of the timing and pattern of emergence of the pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus pipistrellus). Journal of Zoology (London), 211: 267–274. Google Scholar


T. J. Cade 1987. The falcons of the world. Comstock/Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 188 pp. Google Scholar


C. M. C. Catto , P. A. Racey , and P. J. Stephenson . 1995. Activity patterns of the serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus) at a roost in southern England. Journal of Zoology (London), 235: 635–644. Google Scholar


C. M. C. Catto , A. M. Hutson , P. A. Racey , and P. J. Stephenson . 1996. Foraging behaviour and habitat use of the serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus) in southern England. Journal of Zoology (London), 238: 623–633. Google Scholar


P. L. DuvergÉ , G. Jones , J. Rydell , and R. D. Ransome . 2000. Functional significance of emergence timing in bats. Ecography, 23: 32–40. Google Scholar


D. Eilam , T. Dayan , S. Ben-Eliyahu , I. Schulman , G. Schefer , and C. A. Hendrie . 1999. Differential behavioral and hormonal responses of voles and spiny mice to owl calls. Animal Behaviour, 58: 1085–1093. Google Scholar


H. G. Erkert 1982. Ecological aspects of bat activity rhythms. Pp. 201–242, in Ecology of bats ( T. H. Kunz , ed.). Plenum Press, New York, 425 pp. Google Scholar


M. B. Fenton , I. L. Rautenbach , S. E. Smith , C. M. Swanepoel , J. Grosell , and J. Van Jaarsveld . 1994. Raptors and bats: threats and opportunities. Animal Behaviour, 48: 9–18. Google Scholar


R. P. Gerhardt 1994. The food habits of sympatric Ciccaba owls in northern Guatemala. Journal of Field Ornithology, 65: 258–262. Google Scholar


D. D. Gillette , and J. D. Kimbrough . 1970. Chiropteran mortality. Pp. 262–281, in About bats ( B. H. Slaughter and D. W. Walton , eds.). Southern Methodist University Press, Dallas, 313 pp. Google Scholar


R. Güttinger 1990. Mausohren leben gefährlich. Fledermaus-Anzeiger, Regionalbeilage für die Kantone SG/AI/AR. September 1990. Google Scholar


W. D. Hamilton 1971. Geometry of the selfish herd. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 31: 295–311. Google Scholar


C. A. Hendrie , S. M. Weiss , and D. Eilam . 1998. Behavioral response of wild rodents to the calls of an owl: a comparative study. Journal of Zoology (London), 245: 439–446. Google Scholar


E. V. Jenkins , T. Laine , S. E. Morgan , K. R. Cole , and J. R. Speakman . 1998. Roost selection in the pipistrelle bat, Pipistrellus pipistrellus, in north-east Scotland. Animal Behaviour, 36: 909–917. Google Scholar


G. Jones 1995. Flight performance, echolocation and foraging behavior in noctule bats Nyctalus noctula. Journal of Zoology, 237: 303–312. Google Scholar


G. Jones , and J. Rydell . 1994. Foraging strategy and predation risk as factors influencing emergence time in echolocating bats. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B, 346: 445–455. Google Scholar


M. C. Kalcounis , and R. M. Brigham . 1994. Impact of predation risk on emergence by little brown bats, Myotis lucifugus (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae), from a maternity colony. Ethology, 98: 201–209. Google Scholar


T. H. Kunz 1974. Feeding ecology of a temperate insectivorous bat (Myotis velifer). Ecology, 55: 693–711. Google Scholar


Y. F. Lee , and Y. M. Kuo . 2001. Predation on Mexican free-tailed bats by peregrine falcons and redtailed hawks. Journal of Raptor Research, 35: 115–123. Google Scholar


A. N. Mcwilliam 1989. Emergence behavior of the bat Tadarida (Chaerephon) pumila (Chiroptera: Molossidae) in Ghana, West Africa. Journal of Zoology (London), 219: 698–701. Google Scholar


J. J. Negro , C. Ibáñez , J. L Pérezjordá , and M. J. Delarivo . 1992. Winter predation by common kestrel Falco tinnunculus on pipistrelle bats Pipistrellus pipistrellus in Southern Spain. Bird Study, 39: 195–199. Google Scholar


J. Obuch 1992. Tawny owl (Strix aluco) preying on bats. Pp. 119–121, in Prague studies in mammalogy ( I. Horaček and V. Vohralík , eds.). Charles University Press, Prague, 245 pp. Google Scholar


J. Obuch 1998. The representation of bats (Chiroptera) in the diet of the owls (Strigiformes) in Slovakia. Vespertilio, 3: 65–75. Google Scholar


K. Petrželková 2003. Impact of predation on bats. Ph.D. Thesis, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic and Institute of Vertebrate Biology, Brno, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, 93 pp. Google Scholar


K. Petrželková, and J. Zukal , 2001. Emergence behavior of the serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus) under predation risk. Netherlands Journal of Zoology, 51: 395–414. Google Scholar


M. Pokorný 1998. Prostorová a časová aktivita netopýra večerního (Eptesicus serotinus) v zemědělské krajině [Temporal and spatial activity of serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus) in agrocoenoses]. M.A. Thesis, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic, 91 pp. [In Czech]. Google Scholar


P. A. Racey , and S. M. Swift . 1985. Feeding ecology of Pipistrellus pipistrellus (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) during pregnancy and lactation. I. Foraging behavior. Journal of Animal Ecology, 54: 205–215. Google Scholar


K. J. Roberts , F. D. Yancey , and C. Jones . 1997. Predation by great-horned owls on Brazilian free-tailed bats in north Texas. Texas Journal of Science, 49: 215–218. Google Scholar


A. Rodríguez-Dúran , and A. L. Lewis . 1985. Seasonal predation by merlins on sooty mustached bats in western Puerto Rico. Biotropica, 17: 71–74. Google Scholar


M. C. Romano , J. I. Maidagan , and E. F. Pire . 1999. Behavior and demography in an urban colony of Tadarida brasiliensis (Chiroptera: Molossidae) in Rosario, Argentina. Revista de Biologia Tropical, 47: 1121–1127. Google Scholar


J. Rydell , A. Entwistle , and P. A. Racey . 1996. Timing of foraging flights of three species of bats in relation to insect activity and predation risk. Oikos, 76: 242–252. Google Scholar


W. Schober , and E. Grimmberger . 1993. Bats of Britain and Europe. Kosmos Verlag, Stuttgart, 265 pp. Google Scholar


C. B. Shiel , and J. S. Fairley . 1999. Evening emergence of two nursery colonies of Leisler's bat (Nyctalus leisleri) in Ireland. Journal of Zoology (London), 247: 439–447. Google Scholar


R. R. Sokal , and F. J. Rohlf 1995. Biometry: the principles and practice of statistics in biological research. Third ed. W. H. Freeman and Company, New York , 887 pp. Google Scholar


J. R. Speakman 1991. The impact of predation by birds on bat population in the British Isles. Mammal Review, 21 : 123–142. Google Scholar


J. R. Speakman , D. J. Bullock , L. A. Eales , and P. A. Racey . 1992. A problem defining temporal pattern in animal behavior: clustering in the emergence behavior of bats from maternity roosts. Animal Behaviour, 43: 491–500. Google Scholar


J. R. Speakman , R. E. Stone , and J. E. Kerslake . 1995. Temporal patterns of pipistrelle bats, Pipistrellus pipistrellus, from maternity colonies are consistent with anti-predator response. Animal Behaviour, 50: 1147–1156. Google Scholar


J. R. Speakman , N. Irwin , and R. Stone . 1999. Effect of roost size on the emergence behavior of pipistrelle bats. Animal Behaviour, 58: 787–795. Google Scholar


B. Verboom 1998. The use of edge habitats by commuting and foraging bats. IBN Scientific Contributions 10, DLO Institute for Forestry and Nature Research (IBN-DLO), Wageningen, 120 pp. Google Scholar


G. S. Wilkinson 1992. Information transfer at evening bat colonies. Animal Behaviour, 44: 501–518. Google Scholar


G. S. Wilkinson , and J. W. Boughman . 1998. Social calls coordinate foraging in greater spear-nosed bats. Animal Behaviour, 55: 337–350. Google Scholar
© Museum and Institute of Zoology PAS
Klára J. Petrželková and Jan Zukal "Does a Live Barn Owl (Tyto alba) Affect Emergence Behavior of Serotine Bats (Eptesicus serotinus)?," Acta Chiropterologica 5(2), 177-184, (1 January 2003).
Received: 16 May 2003; Accepted: 20 August 2003; Published: 1 January 2003
Eptesicus serotinus
predation risk
Tyto alba
Back to Top