Move Over Bat Cave. Make Way for the Bat Tower!

 **Made in the USA**

Our bat houses are hand-constructed of rough-sawn Maine White Pine. The rough surface gives the bats something to hang onto. The habitats are not painted or stained, as these products are toxic to bats. The houses are open at the bottom, so birds will not nest in them, and cleaning is not needed. Tight, solid construction of 1" wood gives warmth and insulation (bats like their homes around 100 degrees Fahrenheit and higher). Each house comes with bat information and instructions.

The latest research indicates that the most successful bat houses are mounted on buildings or are free-standing. This innovative Bat Tower! mounts directly onto a 4 x 4 post that you supply. The post actually becomes a landing platform for the bats.  From the post, they climb up into the house. The four internal chambers and attic provide multiple roosting opportunities. For the real "bat-o-philes," the side door opens for a rare peak inside.

Bat Tower Dimensions (23" x 6 3/4" x 7")

A Bat Primer

In many ways bats are typical mammals. They are warm-blooded and they give birth to live young and suckle them. They differ from all other mammals, however, in their ability to fly. Their wings are folds of skin stretched between elongated finger bones, the sides of the body, the hind limbs, and, in some species, the tail. A resting bat usually hangs with its head downward and takes flight by releasing its toehold.

Flying bats appear larger than resting bats because of their large wing area. For example, the Little Brown Bat Myotis lucifugus, weighs about 1/3 of an ounce (the mass of two nickels and a dime) but has a wingspan of about 8.5 inches. The Hoary Bat Lasiurus cinereus, by contrast, weighs about one ounce, and has a wingspan of approximately 16 inches.

Bats are primarily nocturnal creatures, sleeping during the day and hunting and feeding at night. Although some bats in the Tropics feed on fish, fruit, nectar, or even blood, the bats of North America typically feed on insects, usually caught in flight. Bats will take moths, mosquitoes, beetles, mayflies, caddis flies, and midges. Insectivorous species of bats typically consume 30% - 50% of their body weight in insects each night, equivalent to a average adult person eating 60 - 90 lbs of food in one day!  In the stomach of one Little Brown Bat 145 mosquitoes were found. It is precisely for this reason that bats make excellent neighbors.  Bats roosting in Bat Houses, that you supply from Abundant Earth or another reliable source, may radically reduce your resident mosquito population, and may also help rid your garden of many pesky flying insects.

Birds that pursue flying insects often catch their prey in their mouths, but most insectivorous bats scoop up their victims in wing or tail membranes before transferring them to the mouth. Little Brown Bats can chew their food very rapidly and in the laboratory have been observed catching mosquitoes at a rate of 10 per minute.

Bats are not blind. Although the eyes of many insectivorous bats are inconspicuous, bats see very well and rely on vision for many aspects of their behavior. However, North American species of bats primarily use echolocation rather than vision to locate their prey. Echolocation is an active mode of orientation in which the bat emits pulses of sound and listens for the returning echoes using its large ears. The difference between the original sound and its echo contains the information used by the bat to locate and identify objects in its path. Echolocation is also employed by marine mammals such as dolphins and other toothed whales, some cave-dwelling birds, and mammals such as shrews.

The echolocation calls of most North American bats are ultrasonic in frequency and therefore beyond the range of human hearing. A notable exception is the Spotted Bat Euderma maculatum, which occurs in the Okanagan Valley of Washington and British Columbia, and makes calls that are entirely audible to humans. The ears of many insects, such as moths, lacewings, crickets, and some mantids, are sensitive to the echolocation calls of bats. These insects thus receive warning of a bat's approach and are often able to evade capture. Again, the Spotted Bat is an interesting exception. Its lower-frequency echolocation calls are not detected by most insects, so the insects are less likely to flee the pursuing bat.

During the summer months, some bat species aggregate in colonies, while others live alone. The former include species that roost in buildings, such as the Little Brown Bat, Big Brown Bat Eptesicus fuscus, and Yuma Bat Myotis yumanensis, while the latter include tree-roosting species such as the Red Bat Lasiurus borealis, Hoary Bat, and Silver-haired Bat Lasionycteris noctivagans. Other species such as the Pallid Bat Antrozous pallidus and Spotted Bat roost in cracks and crevices in cliffs.

A Final Note About Bats and Bat Houses

Bats can be very particular about their housing arrangements. When you select a bat house, make sure the manufacturer is knowledgeable about the particular needs of bats and bat houses.  Many well-meaning, but misinformed companies have designed and sold bat houses that are NOT functionally appropriate for bats. These companies mistakenly assume that bat house building requires little or no research in the design of the house. However, among the many bat house providers, there are a few reliable sources, like Abundant Earth, for high quality, functionally appropriate bat houses. Please choose wisely for the comfort and health of your friendly neighborhood bats.

The Bat Tower! $71.95
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