Opportunities arise in life all the time. You just have to be open to them. I had one recently. Now, I’m trialing a new home for bats because of it. Simple concept. Mother nature provides the home. I just modify it to make it attractive for microbats. I talking about Bamboo. Two are already in place at Bibra Lake awaiting new residents. It might take awhile but it will be worth it.
Check out the video.
In Western Australia we have a huge issue of feral bees invading nest boxes all of descriptions including bat boxes. Even the small “wedge” shaped design is under attack. The ferals have found them and even though the volume is minute they persist. In the war against these Natsync Environmental has changed the design to try and keep one step ahead of them. At this early stage it appears to be successful although time will tell in the long term.
After spending 10 years of research and design the holy grail of bat boxes has been found. Well…sort of. Micro bats are extremely fussy in choosing their homes or roosts as it is known. Using sophisticated temperature & humidity loggers in local natural roosts we carefully analysed what makes the roost special. Then the challenge was to replicate these conditions in man-made artificial homes. We also used Flir and Pulsar thermal imaging devices to study the effects on solar radiation on the actual surfaces of the homes.
Also thanks to the involvement of the City of Cockburn, a survey was conducted to assess the many bat boxes that are currently located throughout their municipality. The data gathered highlighted the various attributes that the bats were searching for. A new model was born out of this research. Within 17 days the bats have found and have started to occupy the new designed boxes.
We want the Cockburn Wetlands Centre to become bat central in Western Australia. This would be an opportunity for visitors to bring a deck chair, sip some wine & munch on cheese, then watch the microbats streaming out of the many boxes that are located there.
To help achieve the numbers for a massive flyout an “Bat Rocket” box was installed. This has the potential to hold 150 bats. More are planned for the future.
So stand by and get ready for blast off…..
Another exciting bat box workshop was conducted on the last weekend gone. This time something new was added. Now I have Pyrography pens in action. These allow you to burn patterns or just your name onto the finished bat boxes. The participants loved them. It adds a personal touch to your creation.
If you would love to attend one of these fun and interesting workshops please contact me and I will give you an idea of where and when the next ones are held. They are very popular and regularly booked out.
Write with fire
Come and visit our display at the Lake Claremont Festival this Sunday 18th September. We have exciting new bat homes to view. Learn how to construct a simple bat box perfect for the garden.
Come talk about bats, bats and more bats.
Ever wonder how researchers study bats? Then come and see a Thermal imaging scope in action. This detects the body heat of bats at 300 metres.
Well, according to the manufacturer the recycled PVC tubing we are trialing have a lifespan of exactly that. Within six months of installation the bats are moving in. The new PVC home has all the attributes of a successful bat house.
- Longevity-thick steel brackets, stainless steel fasteners, galvanised mesh.
- Insulated- using special material creates a buffer between extreme temperatures.
- “Can you see bats inside?” With our model you bet. Even in the middle of the day.
- Attractive to bats- yep, starting to work within a short space of time.
- Feral bee attractive-NO, these homes are not for them.
- Lightweight- You won’t break your back trying to install them, unless of course you do it the wrong way.
- Roomy-able to hold over 50 micro bats.
The quest for a perfect home for them continues.
New type of bat home
Join us for an exciting night stalk at Bibra Lake on the 10th October. On this night we’re looking for anything that moves, frogs, spiders and whatever. The bats will be in force. They have taken up more boxes. The White striped freetailed bat is now in residence. This species is one of the largest microbat in Australia. The face really looks like a dog- mastiff like.. Come along and get a close look at it. You’ll be blown away…..
Want to see a Barn owl??? There’s a good chance you’ll see and hear them screeching above our heads. They’re nesting in one of the bird boxes. Just awesome….
Call the City of Cockburn on 9411 3444 to find out more.
Answer: When it’s a Kingfisher box.
Okay, here’s the story. In 2008 a Kingfisher box was built for a client targeting only the Australian Kingfisher. As the image shows the dimensions are slightly larger than a shoebox. Installed on a horizontal plane with a side entrance it would have been perfect for the bird that we wanted.
But low and behold during a routine box inspection guess what I found? Yes, micro bats. Have a good look and what they’re hanging onto. Yes, you guessed it. The plain untouched timber walls. This goes to show that they can really grip almost anything. So next time you are building your own bat box just score the front and side walls with a knife. The rear needs to be mesh. This makes it easy for the bats to land on and climb up.
By the way the white “eggshell” in the foreground is really a spiders egg sack. You see the Huntsman spiders share the same abode without getting eaten.
“What are you looking at buster” says the rear bat glaring at me.
Having an interest in bats is like following a religion.
- You have to be patient. Bats might not come immediately.
- You have to have faith. They are there but mostly we can’t see them.
- You are constantly praying. Hoping they will come sooner rather than later and they will appear.
So with this all in mind (and holes in my trousers at knee height for praying so much) I decided to show you there is light at the end of the tunnel. In the video attached I talk about the Anabat bat detector, discussing observational skills to acquire in looking for bats in your box. So sit back, relax and enjoy it…cheers Joe.