Monday, September 04, 2006

Miss Cindy's Bat House



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A while back, my pal Mr. Billy, did a bunch of free tractor work on Pure Florida. He pulled a big tree stump, improved my shooting range berm, and dug a small intermittent amphibian pond next to my main pond. As is his way, he would not take any money, but my wife told me his wife, the lovely Miss Cindy, wanted a bat house.

Are you following this?

So, I dug out my Bat Conservation International book on building bat houses and got busy ...sort of. It was one of those projects that gets started, then set aside, then restarted, then delayed due to last minute embellishments, then set aside again ...

Yesterday, we finally installed the bat house. We picked a spot on the edge of some pines in a cow pasture. I bolted together the uprights while Jr. and his good buddy Tyler used the posthole digger to dig down a few feet.


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The diagonal brace was just a temporary shipping brace I tacked on. The height of the house is supposed to be at least 10 feet high as apparently bats have to freefall a bit before catching air. I think we just made it on that count ...might be only nine-ish.




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The photo above is a closeup of the house. I have enough leftover T-111 and assorted lumber to build another one, so I'm definitely putting one in near my pond. The bats are thick there at twilight ... when it's holding water that is.




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Every construction job needs a good foreman.

We had Buddy supervising our efforts.
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13 comments:

threecollie said...

Nice job! What kind of bats live in Florida?

TUFFENUF said...

It doesn't look like it has a door. How do the bats get in and out?

Hal at Ranch Ramblins said...

The bat house you built came out nice. Thanks for the link to Bat Conservation International - it is a treasure trove of useful information.

Floridacracker said...

ThreeCollie,
Uhm...I'm supposed to know that aren't I? I believe we have Mexican Freetails, Little Browns, and a bunch of other ones that were moving too fast to read their labels ;)
Just so you know, I'm reading your Beta site, just can't comment there.

Tuff,
The photo cropped out the bottom of the house. There's a landing pad and then the bats crawl up into the house through an open bottom.

Hal,
Thanks. I bought their little paperback and it's not flashy, but the plans are clear and easy to follow.

roger said...

i'm hearing the theme music from the old batman tv show as i read this post. POW and all that. very nice looking bat house.

Floridacracker said...

roger,
holy flashback roger (POW!) that was a great fun show (ZING!)

pablo said...

I wish I was strolling through that pine forest right now. Of course I'd wear shoes, unlike that son of yours. I see you've finally got him into shirts, which is good. Next are shoes, I suppose.

Question: why didn't you simply attach the house to a tree? Is that particular house too big? I have a smaller one that I want to attach to a tree near the "lake" at Roundrock, but I won't if it is the wrong thing to do. Are those posts sufficiently smooth to keep a snake from climbing up there and eating a bat or two?

Kaluah-lu said...

Greetings, Pure-Floridian!

Your bat house is unquestionably a splendid bit of architecture. I wish my human would construct one of those things, but I have a strong hunch it wouldn't turn out much like that one you have there. We have bats that fly at dusk in our backyard. I get so excited when I see them because they are skeeter eating machines and those nasty bugs give us dogs heartworm. For now, our yard bats seem content enough to live beneath the bark scales of the old hickory tree.

Wayne said...

OK, blogger's having a conniption again for the last two days. I can't get it to go to "other", and it refuses to recognize the captcha. I've copied my comment and tried again and again. Hopefully this time it will post.

Heh - bats really want to be attached to *your* house, as we have discovered - 600 and counting.

It's a very nice bathouse nonetheless and they shouldn't be complaining.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

We will settle for some nice pictures of bats eating on the construction foreman...

Floridacracker said...

Pablo,
We are all exhausted from getting him into shirts. Let us rest a bit before we attempt shoes.
The book says putting them on trees is a no-no due to predators. I think the batologists would like us all to use smooth metal poles, but that's not very practical. I will probably make some predator guards for my bat house because it will be in a very ratsnakey ecosystem. Learning curve here.

Kaluah-lu,
I'm so glad my dog readership is picking up. Thanks for visiting Pure Florida. I'm sure your humans could build a beautiful bat house. Our bats are currently living under the palm fronds.

Wayne,
Thanks. Sorry Blogger is being cranky for you. I'm glad I didn't switch to Blogger Beta because apparently only Betas can comment at Beta sites. Weird.

Hoss,
He's sweet, that's for sure.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

That's a beautiful bat house. I'm wondering where our bats live. We have a creek that runs thru the back of our property and the bats stay somewhere back there, but not in bat houses. If I build some bat houses, will that bring more bats?

I need more bats to eat the mosquitos.

Floridacracker said...

Sandy,
It might I suppose. More habitat, more chances for successful breeding. I'm definitely a bat newbie, so I'm assuming.