Rock on the bats…at the Perth Zoo.

Life is full of opportunities. Here is one of them. Come and discover the hidden world of micro bats. Yes, we have them in our part of the world. Become a participant and learn how to build a successful bat box. After you finished practising your newly found carpentry skills, you can take it home and watch the bats come. This workshop is loads of fun and open to everyone. Moms, bring the kids. They just love using a battery drill. They’re kit form boxes so no need to lose fingers with saws. All pre-made. Listen to how the City of South Perth is increasing the awareness of bats in their suburb. To top it off we’ll take you on a Bat Stalk to Bibra Lake. Watch them zoom around doing aerial maneuvers that will take your breath away..
Ring the Perth Zoo on 9474 0365 to book.
For more details click on the link below.
Look forward to seeing you there..
Perth Zoo workshop

Posted in All | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Big Moon Rising…a time for hunting.

I read about it in the local paper. The moon will be it’s biggest and brightest tonight. Apparently this is a rare phenomenon known as a supermoon. It happens about every 18 years or so. It was bright. The trees were casting shadows and anything glossy on the ground appeared to glow. Well, I decided to see if it adversely affects the bats. Nope. They were out in force. Some people think that nocturnal animals don’t like hunting on a full moon night. I was out in my local bat research area testing some modifications to a Anabat bat detector. The ground I was walking on had many truck loads of mulch spread around. This was creating a small micro climate where small white moths were flittering out, rising from the ground. What a boon for the bats. They were flying about 1m off the ground. I even managed to see one hover just above the mulch and tilt down and snap up an insect. I was using a torch (LED lenser P14) with the barrel setting on wide beam. It was held against my right cheek. This method is used to detect the eyeshine of nocturnal animals. Our micro bats don’t have eyeshine. While I was waiting for the bats to fly past I’d check out the immediate ground for frogs. Well, The next thing you know a bat flew up to my face and caught a insect directly in front of me. I nearly wet myself….Talk about erie… You see the glow from my torch was attracting insects.
What an experience…..
You never know what to expect…

Australian Tawny Frogmouth...predates on the bats.

Posted in All | Tagged | 1 Comment

Bats stay cool

Well, here in Perth, Western Australia, the February/March weather has been really hot hot hot. In fact a record has been broken for the longest period of temperatures greater than 30deg Celsius for a few weeks. Not only humans are suffering but the poor bats are finding it tough too. A small colony of gould’s wattled bats decided it was time to find something cooler so they chose the “Coffee Stop” boxes. Normally, they only stay in these abodes for a overnight stop then move on. But this time they’re staying for a longer period. Due to the open design it has great air flow beneath the entrance. They seem to love it. Roll on the cooler weather…..I bet the bats are thinking that too…

Who's hiding there????

External view of the "Coffee Stop" box.

Posted in All | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Baton bat detector review

Baton bat detector

Unfortunately for me my first Baton unit was faulty. I contacted the company and they sent me a new one.
Now this one works as advertised. It’s incredibly ergonomic to hold and being very light makes it comfortable to walk around with during the night. The on/off button is firm. Also there is a LED light so only one glance tells you the state of the machine.
The ‘Line In” jack at the side is excellent to accomodate a cable which can connect to a netbook or laptop. The supplied software works to show sonograms of the bat calls.
On my wish list to improve this model I would like to see a wrist strap and an extra ‘Line out” jack to have the ability for a set of small earphones inserted. There is a constant “white noise” in the background but after a short time the ears tune this out. It’s not a big issue because your ears really listen for the “tick, tick,tick sounds rather than one constant tone.

For its price I would highly recommend it. It does the job quite well.


Leave a comment

Bats arrive at McDougall Park

During the month of June in 2010 five bat boxes were installed in McDougall Park which is in South Perth, Western Australia. Well, great news, five months later a bat has found box number 4 mounted on a Lemon Scented gum tree. By looking at the amount of guano(droppings) it appears that it hasn’t been there too long. Probably only a week or two. A council bush crew worker was with me at the time of inspection and we were so excited that a grandmother and two young children came over and asked us what is the excitement all about. I asked her would she and the kids like to see a micro bat. Of course they would be delighted. So, up I climbed on a ladder to the bat box and carefully removed the bat from it’s home.
He was feisty. Snapping and snarling at me. He thought he was going to become someone’s takeaway.
I gave the visitors a quick look and put him back into his new home.
Once one bat has found a home, he will fly back and tell his mates. Then, the word will get out….
More bats, more dead mozzies….One bat eats 1,000 mosquitoes per night…
Rock on the bats….

Bat discovers new home.

Tagged , | 4 Comments

Open Those Ears…..

Help the scientists monitor climate change. Listen for the calls of the White Striped Mastif bat. The listening program starts on the 23rd October 2010. They say that by studying where this bat is located will give us an idea of what is happening with our weather.
check out the PDF.ListenforWhiteStripedMastiffBat

Leave a comment

Plastic Bat-tastic..

The micro bats have taken to the PVC homes in Shenton Park, Western Australia. Now there are three models installed throughout the bushland. The “Bat Canon”, FatBat tube and conventional timber single chamber type. The three timber types have just been installed during Aug 2010.
Check out the video..

Posted in All, Videos | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Meet and greet the bats…..

Well, come on down!!!

At Bibra Lake on Saturday 21st August we’re going to introduce you to one of our most gorgeous Australian creatures, the Gould’s Wattled bat. Forget about trying to see one flying high in the sky. They only come out at night when we’re asleep in our nice warm beds. Here’s a chance to see one live and real close. Learn all about micro bats and what interesting habits they have. After the presentation join us for a walk through the “Bat Forest”, where during the day they hide in the boxes that a local community group built. We’ve developed a special “Bat-cam” which is a infrared camera on the end of a telescopic pole. By gently pushing the camera through a hole at the bottom of the boxes we can spy on  and count how many bats are there.

One lucky person will win a magnificent custom built bat box to take home with them.

Guaranteed to be a entertaining and informative session.
Click on the blue tear drop icon to get directions

Leave a comment

7 Reasons Bats are Just as Cool as Batman

Check out the link below for a really fun and interesting article on micro bats. This was written by Daniella Brigida from the National Wildlife Federation in America.

7 Reasons Bats are Just as Cool as Batman.

Tagged | Leave a comment

Bats tee off

At a local golf course a bird box was installed on a tree. Unfortunately, about 18 months later this tree had to be removed to make way for a building. The box was taken down and surprise, surprise, micro bats were found in residence. Check out the video.

Posted in Videos | Tagged , | Leave a comment