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Bat Houses Bat House Discussion!

Postby Joe Spencer » Sat Jan 27, 2007 3:03 pm

Joe Spencer Posted: Sun Dec 24th, 2006 01:45 am

Wow that is great! Unfortunately I don't have any experience or first hand knowledge of Floridian bats and their seasonal habits. Obviously they're active far more than common bats in colder climates such as New England which hibernate for half of the year on average. The first thing to do is attempt to identify the species occupying the bat house and the common species in your area: Brazilian free-tailed bat? Evening bat? Mexican free-tailed? Big Brown? I believe the Brazilian doesn't migrate and stays in your area year-round unlike the Mexican Free-tailed (Bracken Cave-BCI) which is migratory and winters in Mexico. Once you know the species it should help in potentially anticipating some of their habits. If you could get at least two bat houses mounted there rather than 1 larger one it may help with the PARASITE factor mentioned here in the forum and on BCI's site in their records.

Word out?: hmm maybe

Young? The larger the bat house the better chances you have of establishing/keeping a maternity colony. Do you have any roughsawn 1"X lumber available reasonably? That way you don't have to worry about scoring the plywood for footholds although it is pretty easy to scratch for the purpose creating a jig with a block of wood and a few protruding drywall screws. Kent also has had suggestions on the latter. You would only have one or two less chambers with roughsawn but your retentive properties and thermal mass would be just as high if not higher. Can you consider two new houses to complement the rocket totaling three? There's a good chance you could establish quite a colony there considering the proximity to water and feeding grounds. Don't think I have been of much help directly but I'm sure someone may be able to help sometime. Looking forward to your progress...
by BATMAN Posted: Sun Dec 24th, 2006 03:02 am

I have looked for some rough 1x's but have yet to find somewhere that sells it. About the only lumber yard around here that might have it doesn't sell to the public and the other is Home Depot and the only thing they have that is rough cut is cedar which as you know costs an arm and a leg.

Yeah I would say the longest and most tidiest part of building a bat house is the scoring which I always do with a circular saw and it takes forever. I wish I could find an easier way of doing it. You say make a jig of dry wall screws, does that work on plywood too ?

I could probably talk them into another bat house if the need arises. So what size do you think the 3rd one should be, knowing the sizes we have already ? Medium, 5 chamber maybe ?

According to - http://www.floridabats.org/FloridaBats.htm it looks that these are the most likely species to inhabit the bat house. Evening bat, Brazilian free-tailed bat, Southeastern myotis. Is there anyway to tell from the guano ?


Joe Spencer: Posted: Sun Dec 24th, 2006 03:58 am

A medium sounds fine. Yes, it does work on plywood. I use 1 1/4" drywall screws protruding 1/4" through a 1" roughsawn piece as my scoring jig. Ya, not surprised roughsawn wood is not readily available in FL. In my area (northeast) white pine can be found cheaper than plywood. Do you have access to free pallets? In my area there are occassional formed particle board pallets used for shipping and delivery but most are still made out of roughsawn wood. There are many places in my area which are glad to have pallets taken away for free especially the non-hardwood pallets because people don't want them because they can't even burn them in their stoves. What I do is rip the sides and middle avoiding the nails using a circular saw and I'm left with all the slats free for use. Two pallets will give you enough wood for the partitions for an entire decently sized nursery house. Just stack the 1"x4" slats on top of each other. I like to space a couple of them on each partition area a 1/2" apart vertically to allow the bats to move/relocate internally without exposing themselves to the bottom entrance. For a really ambitious project, how about just using the pallets in their entirety and place them in an enclosure (bat house shell-roof) and space them apart accordingly. The bats won't likely roost in the areas between the front and back of each individual pallet since it exceeds 1" but they should readily use the 3/4" space you make between the front of one pallet and the back of another. Also if we thought about it some more I'm sure we could come up with strategic ways to approach such a large-scale bat house project using wood pallets. Any ideas anyone? Enjoy the holiday's all! Joe.Image

Terry Lobdell: Posted: Tue Dec 26th, 2006 05:28 pm

Batman, That is really exciting how your numbers of bats are increasing!

Joe, I have started building 2 bat houses out of 1 pallet. What I did was cut the slats of the middle section out so I ended up with 2 - 16 inch X 39 inch shells from one large pallet. The gaps in between the slats I filled with half inch wafer board. I will make removable baffles so it will be easier to mount. The dimension of the pallet as it is will allow 3 interior crevices if I use half inch baffles. I may just have 2 crevices on the other with one thicker baffle of rough sawn boards. These may have to be inch and a half or inch and three quarters but should give me some thermal retention. I was able to get these pallets free. This is definitely an inexpensive way to build a bat house!

Gran: Posted: Wed Dec 27th, 2006 12:59 am

I hadn't thought of using pallets. Maybe it would be cheaper than plywood at least for interior dividers


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