Round Table Farm

Donkeys, Goats, Books and Chickens

Bat Box

Western Long-Eared Myotis. Note puncture wound on his left side.

Two weekends ago, I found a dead bat down by our garden. It was laying on it’s back, with several puncture wounds. My guess is that one of our predatory birds caught this guy out a little late, but then dropped him for some reason. One of my coworkers is something of a bat expert and she believes this is a Western Long-Eared Myotis.

Anyway, being the ever-curious biologist that I am, I had to take pictures. Then we buried him by the berry patch. Then something dug him up and took off with him. Sigh….Circle of Life.

Puncture wounds on both wings.

So last weekend we had Cousin S for a few days and we thought building a bat box would be a great excuse to use power tools. My Main Man came up with the design after looking at several free designs on line and looking at what scrap wood we had. The only thing we purchased were some wood screws and some wildlife mesh (not bird mesh which is not as strong). Bats like their caves, but sometimes in the hunt for bugs they wander far and need an over-day place to roost, so having  few bat boxes around seemed like a nice thing to do for Nature.

Here are some links for Bat Box Plans and other bat conservation info:

National Parks Bat House Plans

National Wildlife Federation: How To Build A Bat House Step By Step

Bat Management

Scrap ply-wood with mesh taped in place. Here we were measuring 2X4s against the length of the backboard.

Once complete, this slim box was hung up by the horse barn. Many sites on building bat boxes recommend painting or varnishing the boxes a dark color to allow the boxes to heat up to a cozy sleeping temperature. However, here in the high desert I had my questions on that. I asked the local bat expert again and painting/varnishing was not recommended for this area, which receives enough UV and high temperatures alone to keep the bats happy. Darkening the bat box would simply cook them while they slept. Which would be wrong in so many ways.

We screwed the 2X4s into place, which holds the mesh in place.

Completed bat box installed down a the barn.

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