where and when to hang 2nd bat house

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where and when to hang 2nd bat house

Postby marius » Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:08 am

Hi All,
I’ve got a few bat house questions. (Yes, I posted earlier in “bat help” section but this question is specific to bat houses, so posting here.)
Background:
A family member made a bat house for us. We hung it and have 8 adult bats and also pups – as of this spring. From looking at guano, etc., pretty sure we have big brown bats.

The bat house is 21 inches tall, backboard is 26 inches. Width is 20 inches. Depth is 5 inches with three chambers and the chambers are about 1” to 1/1/4 inch wide. Plywood was used for dividing the chambers and they are lined with quarter inch hardware cloth. Both houses are painted a medium-dark green, military green. Both houses have the ¼ inch horizontal vent across the front, about 5 inches above the base of the house. The house is about 15 feet above the ground.
The only place we could get six hours of sun on the bat house AND have it high enough above the ground was to mount it was on the sw corner of our home. The bat house gets afternoon sun from about 1-2 p.m. until the sun sets, but the top of the house (the roof part of the house) is under the eaves and shaded during the hottest part of the day.
Now questions:
My family member just gave us another bat house, made exactly the same. The only place to hang it is on same side of the house as the other bat house. We could hang it close to the first bat house where it would get equal sun/heat or we could move it further north along that wall so it would be shaded a bit by a tree, probably from about 6-9 p.m. but would still have sun in the hottest part of the day. From what I’ve read, it would be nice to offer a ‘cooler’ house, especially for big browns. Does anyone have ideas or suggestions about placement for the second house?

Since the one house has bats (as of early May this year) should we leave it as is or take it down in the fall and paint it a lighter color to help with afternoon sun temperatures?
If we put the second bat house in full afternoon sun like the first one, should we add holes or somehow made another vent so that house is cooler than the first house?
And, last, should we hang the second house now, or wait until next spring?
Thanks, and sure appreciate any and all suggestions.
Marius
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Re: where and when to hang 2nd bat house

Postby marius » Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:25 pm

Very fun news!

We had eight bats on May 11, have counted 8 leave each night that we've counted but ... tonight counted 16 leave and saw another 8 (probably more) still in the house. So, either more bats have moved in, we didn't count right to begin with, or the pups have started to fly. Several that left the house tonight did seem small and one did not follow the flight paths of the others. Very fun time and spouse is actually getting into this. : )
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Re: where and when to hang 2nd bat house

Postby Terry Lobdell » Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:34 pm

You are off to a great start! I would say mount the box as soon as you want.........because you already have bats using one box, they should quickly use the second.......

Moving the 2nd box to a cooler location might be a good idea to give them different temperature options.........

I would leave the first box as is since they are using it.........

Big browns especially like to rotate around different bat boxes throughout the season.......mine usually move every 3 - 5 days.....

Ventilation in the lower third of the box is always good especially for big browns...........I have a lot of pictures on here of different types of ventilation designs.......

A word of caution about the hardware cloth........eventually the bat urine will eat through it and expose some sharp edges......just something to watch for........
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Re: where and when to hang 2nd bat house

Postby marius » Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:39 pm

I wondered about hardware cloth because nothing I've read mentions using it - now I know why. Thanks for the 'heads up.' Maybe we can replace the cloth this winter ... or else just get new houses. Will leave that up to spouse who does the wood-working.

Thanks for your reply, Terry. Much appreciated.
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Re: where and when to hang 2nd bat house

Postby marius » Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:41 pm

... oh, and I am planning to review ventilation issues so thanks for pointing me to the photos. Will check them out. : )
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Re: where and when to hang 2nd bat house

Postby cloudman75 » Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:02 pm

Go ahead and put it up now. The bats and flying pups will have a chance to investigate it and may even use it this year. You folks are very lucky to have bats use your new house right away which indicates to me that there was a need for bat housing in your area. I can tell from your posts that you are excited to be helping the bats and welcome to the group. The hardware cloth should last a few years so I would advise you not to disturb the box this winter that the bats have accepted as home. Wait until they have used it a couple of seasons or more would be my advice so as not to possibly upset the bats.
Bats spend some time in summer investigating new roosts around August. I have had mine to leave for two to three weeks and then come back to stay until the first frost in November. They spend a period swarming and breeding from what I have read.

Frank
Last edited by cloudman75 on Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: where and when to hang 2nd bat house

Postby marius » Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:48 am

Frank, I like the way you think and spouse agrees – keep the bat houses as they are!

Yesterday we were set to hang the second house, but I decided to get the flashlight and learn more about how these houses are put together. Glad I did that because apparently the second house was kept in the barn and we discovered that there were huge pockets of insulation packed into the top of the bat house.

I thought the relative who built the bat houses had tried to “insulate” the roof part of the bat house but ever-observant spouse said, “Mice!” Mercifully, the mice were gone but we found remnants of food stashes and droppings. The mice nests were so tightly packed that we finally had to take half of the roof off and that allowed us to remove ALL of the nesting materials.

Then we had to re-caulk the roof. The caulk smells so bad I want to wait for the smell to go away because not sure how well bats can smell. Plan is to hang the house today. Hope if there are mice smells that the bats won't care. Guess we’ll find out.

Thanks to you and everyone for suggestions and feedback.
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Re: where and when to hang 2nd bat house

Postby Markcuda » Sun Jun 19, 2011 12:33 pm

We need pictures after/during the install, or it never happened :wink:
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Re: where and when to hang 2nd bat house

Postby marius » Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:14 pm

Oh ... you are wicked! Marius is extremely challenged in the technology department - just learned to take pics with phone last month.

However ... spouse is somewhat proficient and just now asked if the 2nd house is ready to hang ... and he LOVES "before and after" pictures!
He also likes challenges so I'll see what he can do about this matter! : )
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Re: where and when to hang 2nd bat house

Postby Markcuda » Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:46 pm

We will need pictures similar to this :wink:
Image
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Re: where and when to hang 2nd bat house

Postby cloudman75 » Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:09 pm

Marius,
Thanks for the anniversary wishes, we had a great trip and made it home OK.
Here is a link to a yearly behavior cycle for Big and also Little Brown bats that you may not have seen. This is for Wis. but applies anywhere with adjustment for birthing,flying etc. Will be anxious to see any photos you and spouse post.

http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/er/publicati ... _cycle.htm

Frank
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Re: where and when to hang 2nd bat house

Postby marius » Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:02 pm

Thanks for the info Frank. Glad you had a good anniversary. Gonna try to post photos now. Crossing fingers. : )
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Re: where and when to hang 2nd bat house

Postby marius » Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:03 pm

Second bat house and it is dark green. Not sure why color is off in photo.

Image
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Re: where and when to hang 2nd bat house

Postby marius » Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:09 pm

Okay, now this is getting kind of fun. Gonna try more than ONE photo.

First bat house.
Image



Getting ready to mount 2nd bat house.
Image



Spouse in action.
Image



Both bat houses up but for some reason, house on the right is cut off.
Image



Second bat house is not as close to the tree as it appears, but still might do some trimming.
Image
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Re: where and when to hang 2nd bat house

Postby marius » Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:13 pm

And ... thanks for the 'encouragement' to post photos. Maybe some day I'll have technological saavy but this is good for now! (Actually, VERY proud of self because managed to post photos with help from this forum and things on-line ... in other words ... no help from spouse! This is almost as miraculous as the bats ... but not quite.)

Checked under the 2nd bat house we hung yesterday and saw three pieces of guano under it. Could be more but hard to see in the grass. : )
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