Spent my Monday assembling and painting 7 bat boxes. I was expecting it to take much longer, but the decision to buy bat box kits (with pre-cut wood parts, screws and glue included) turned out to be worth every penny. Tools, expertise and advice were provided by Marty and Cliff over at the HSU workshop.
Some more notes about the bat boxes:
- Kits were bought from Bat Conservation and Management (batmanagement.com), a company out of central Pennsylvania
- These are 3 chambered bat boxes, because the two baffles inserted in the middle create three separate chambers that bats can move around. There is space at the top near the roof for them to crawl between chambers.
- If you are assembling boxes to attract bats, painting or staining is the way to go. A multi-year study by Bat Conservation International found that painted boxes had a much higher occupancy rate. This is especially important in the more northern temperate areas where sun exposure is more limited. Painting the boxes a brown or black helps hold heat and create those 90 degree temperatures that bat like for raising pups. In more southern areas, boxes should be painted a lighter color.
- The bigger the better! Since I am using my boxes as a point of origin for playbacks and am not as worried about actually getting bats to occupy these boxes, I went small. If you are really into attracting bats and have the space, bigger IS better. Larger houses provide better overall temperature regimes, as well as a greater variety of microclimates.
Up next: More trial and error with acoustic equipment (the hard way to learn things) and bat box installation at The Benbow Inn!
- Massive Bat Cave Stirs Texas-Size Debate Over Development (wnyc.org)
- We Need Bats (inthesetimes.com)