80 year old bat home??

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

New type of bat home

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Did you hear it on the radio?? The Bats are waiting…..

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.

Bat city

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When is a bat house not a bat house?

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.

KingfisherBox 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.

“What are you looking at buster” says the rear bat glaring at me.

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Bat box overflowing with bats.

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.

 

 

 

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Ash-the baby bat

“Hello, is Joe Tonga there?” a voice asked out of the phone. “I saw his Go Batty website and I’ve got a bit of a problem…”

This phone call was from a local resident (Angela) who lives in East Fremantle. She had discovered a bat clinging to a timber bollard in her backyard. The poor thing was severely dehydrated and utterly exhausted.

Angela dropped the bat over at our house. Upon closer inspection, it was noted that it was a Gould’s Wattled bat, aged about a year old and a female.

Dad showed it to my sister and I, met with an enthusiastic welcome. My sister Samantha was given the exciting honour of naming our new furry friend. She chose the name Ash and it stuck.

We fed the bat water from a spoon because Ash was dehydrated and thirsty. After that, we went outside to our backyard with torches and nets to hunt down some moths for Ash’s dinner. Dad caught one, but it flew away. With no luck, we continued into the front garden. We finally caught one, and then hastened inside to feed our little guest.

Ash was still hungry, so we continued searching. Samantha had a bright idea- why not check the pantry? She was lucky enough to catch a moth with just her bare hands. Because Samantha had sprayed mosquito repellent on her hands, we thought the scent might put Ash off her dinner. Ash had no such qualms, however, and gobbled it right up.

When Ash was full, we placed her back in her special container and drove to the East Fremantle Oval to try to set her free. My dad clutched Ash to his shirt so she would be warm. Then he put her on his hand and waited for her to fly away. Unfortunately, Ash did not seem to be in a hurry to fly away. She just sat on Dad’s hand, not moving.

So we returned home. We placed a small cloth with a bat’s scent into Ash’s cage to keep her warm and comfortable. We placed her in my dad’s room so he could keep a watchful eye on her. Also, he could ensure our cat would not eat Ash. After saying goodnight, we draped a black cloth around the container to keep out the light.

The next morning we looked after Ash, giving her water and food. Dad decided we should get her some food (without searching for moths!) so he and Samantha drove to City Farmers.

They returned with a container full of ‘meal worms’ which were still alive and wiggling about.

Although Ash was eating and drinking well, Dad was concerned there was something wrong with her. He took her to a veterinary clinic that specialised in native animals. Unfortunately, Ash had broken her wing and was unable to fly. This explained why she wouldn’t fly away when we tried to release her.

For a microbat that has a broken wing, life can be cruel. She normally catches her food while flying about. If she has a broken wing, she would not be able to feed herself.

The vet decided it would be kinder put Ash to sleep rather than let her suffer.

We were all upset, daddy cried, but understood it was the right decision to make.

We will never forget Ash the baby bat.

Written by Natasha Tonga

(with contributions from Samantha Tonga)

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International Bat Station

Are you a visitor to Western Australia?? Mad keen about bats too??? Then come over and see what the West Aussies have to show you.  I’d love to take you on a magical mystery tour pointing out the various bats that zoom around in our part of the world. See the different bat boxes in operation. Get up close and personal with the bats. Just for a bit of extra excitement watch out for the deadly Tiger snakes. They hunt the frogs in the lakes close by. The bats are waiting???? Evening tour consists of a one hour roaming around discovering the world of micro bats. Now this will blow you away. See the bats through a thermal imaging scope. It’s hooked to a Ipad so you can see what I see.

Cost POA.

Showing english visitors some bats

Showing english visitors some bats

 

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Build a bat box workshop

For all those batty people out there who want to build your own bat box this is it. Come and learn all about the bats. Construct the latest successful design and take it home. Simple to make and very effective.

WHERE: Herdsman Lake Wildlife Centre, Cnr Flynn & Selby Street, Wembley.

WHEN: 11th August 2012

TIME: 10am to 12pm

COST: Ask when you book.

BOOKINGS: 9387 6079

Put it into your calendar….

Building the bat boxes

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