BAT AND BIRD HOUSES

Why Should I Consider Getting a Bird or Bat House?

 

Bird and bat houses provide wildlife with safe places to live during the summer and to raise young.  By inviting wildlife to your property, you will also benefit from exciting wildlife viewing opportunities and learn about native wildlife in your area. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BIRD HOUSES

 

 Price:  $15.00 per packet, or $20 per-assembled. Group discounts available.

Over coffee in the the morning, I love to watch birds entering and exiting my Wildheart houses while carrying nesting material or food for their young. I also adore the sounds of males singing near my bedroom window at dawn, and of babies begging adults for a meal. Our bird houses have no trouble finding occupants during the summer and attracting birds to your yard.

 

We combined our in depth knowledge of birds with the skills of a local wood worker and designed a functional and attractive bird house that will last for years. Our houses are built to attract native birds and to discourage invasive or predatory birds. A purposefully small cavity entrance attracts small sized, native birds such as Carolina wrens.  Each house packet comes with all of the materials and is ready for assembly. All you will need is a screwdriver. Each house can be painted to your liking, and we recommend using a low to no VOC external, water based paint that can be purchased at your local paint store. Custom laser ingrained logos available.

WHERE SHOULD I HANG MY BIRD HOUSE?

Bird houses should be placed in partially shaded areas that receive some sunlight during the day. Houses should be hung at least 4 feet above the ground to prevent predation by racoons, rodents, snakes, and other predators. The house should be suspended on a chain that is not easily climbed down by predators. It is best to hang the house away from human activity and from  bird feeders where there is constant activity. Houses placed carefully in less obvious spots are less likely to be discovered by cowbirds and starlings that may want to predate the nest. Houses sheltered from strong winds and rain are also more likely to succeed.  It is difficult to provide a minimum or maximum duration that the house should be in the sun, as we have seen the houses succeed in various temperatures.

 

BAT HOUSES

 

 $50 per packet or $60 pre-assembled. Group discounts available.

 

Our two-chamber (two- partition) bat houses are designed to provide safe summer roosts for female bats and their pups.  The houses are made with durable 1 inch pine  and follow Bat Conservation International recommendations for successful bat houses (http://www.batcon.org/pdfs/bathouses/BatHouseCriteria.pdf).  The front vent provides air flow through the house, while a landing pad and chamber mesh makes it easy for bats to cling to, enter and exit the house. Our houses are painted brown to match a natural bark color and retain the right amount of sunlight for Midwestern climates. All of our houses are coated with a non-toxic, wildlife safe paint. Custom laser ingrained logos available.

 

INSTALLATION

Our houses are  approximately  15.5 inches wide and 30 inches tall and are intended for placement on a free standing pole, such as an aluminum sturdy purple martin house pole , the side of a house or barn,  or other similar structures. The materials required for installation are not included, but can be purchased at your local home improvement store. We are happy to discuss various options with you and review photos of your property and provide suggestions for placement beyond the information provided below.

BASIC GUIDELINES FOR  PLACEMENT

Bat houses should be placed:

 

  •  In a sunny location that receives a minimum of 8 hours of sunlight each day

  • A minimum of 8 feet above the ground, and preferably 10 to 15 feet above the ground.

  • A minimum of 15 to 20 feet away from vegetation or other objects that obstruct flyways to and from the house

  • Facing east or southeast.

  • Away from potential predators (owls, raccoons, snakes)

  • Away from hazardous objects

  • On sturdy surfaces (examples below)

 

INSTALLATION OPTIONS

There are many resources available online that provide information on how to install your bat house. A simple google search will yield numerous resources and videos providing a variety of hanging options. In our experience, aluminum or any type of outdoor, galvanized pole is the best option for hanging your bat house. Compared to houses placed on the side of a house, bat houses placed on poles receive desirable sunlight from both sides (warm = good!).  Additionally, unlike trees, most poles are more difficult for predators to climb. Poles are typically easy to install into the ground with some quick drying cement or expanding foam. There are several hanging options that do not require poles, so don't worry if you can't install a pole. For instancle, brick on the side of a house retains heat captured during the day, and can keep a bat house nice and warm. We recommend that you ask as a handy neighbor or a handyman/woman to help you hang your house. They are heavy, and you will need help.

OPTION 1: TELESCOPING POLE

We believe poles are among the best options for hanging your bat house. One option is purchasing a purple martin house pole directly on the web and have it shipped to your house. Home Depot offers free shipping on purple martin house poles (the pole costs ~ $52). Make sure you select a telescoping pole that can extend at least 12 feet. We recommend aluminum because it won't rust. Pick a triangular pole, rather than a round pole, so that the bat house can be screwed onto one of the three flat surfaces of the pole. Round poles will require additional brackets to secure the house to the pole. The pole will need to go approximately 3.5 feet into the ground to be stable, so do not get a pole that extends less than 12 feet or you will wind up with a pole that is less than 8 feet tall and too short. Remember: the taller, the better!

PROS:  delivery to your door, easy set up as long as you can use a power drill

CONS: some martin houses are not sturdy, you'll have to make sure is sturdy and the pole won't sway during a windy day or storm

Materials needed: Pole, concrete mix or expanding foam, power drill and bits , outdoor grade screws (1 5/8 work well), shovel.

OPTION 2: 4 INCH x 4 INCH X 12 FOOT WOODEN POST/POLE

You can attach the bat house directly to a wooden 4 x 4 inch pole, or a pole with other dimensions. Wood is readily available at home improvement stores such as Home Depot in 12 foot or even 14 foot lengths.  Since we aim to provide bats with a safe place to live, we recommend Option #1, unless your yard is well fenced in and you are certain potential predators, such as snakes and raccoons, will be kept out.

PROS: can be purchased same day, may cost a little less than martin house pole

CONS: long pole required struck to get it home, wooden poles may rot if using untreated lumber, susceptible to predators

Materials needed: Pole, concrete mix or expanding foam, power drill and bits , outdoor grade screws (1  5/8 work well), shovel.

OPTION 3: HOUSE SIDE/ BARN/ TALL STRUCTURE

Hanging your bat house on the side of a house, the side of a chimney, or a barn, is a great idea. Brick siding retains heat well and will keep the house nice and warm even once the sun is no longer shining on your house. Houses should only be placed on chimneys that are not used during the bat roosting season (April to September). The house has to be hung a minimum of 8 feet above the ground and not contain any roof overhang that creates shadows on the bat house. An advantage of placing a bat house on the side of the house or the side of a chimney is that it's cheaper because it only requires screws, a power drill, and a ladder to install (unless you have to hire a handyman/woman!) One downside of hanging a bat house on the house is bat droppings, which will have to be picked up regularly. They can be swept into your garden or grass  and make great fertilizer. However, if you have small children that play in the area, you might opt for a pole instead. 

PROS: Cheaper if you can do it yourself, likely to have fewer predators, so a safe place for bats, have guano for your garden

CONS: Might have to pick up guano on your sidewalk

Materials needed: Power drill and bits, outdoor grade screws, tall ladder.

OPTION 4: TREE

This option is placed last on the list for several reasons. Most trees are NOT suitable for hanging a bat house. Many trees have limbs that obstruct flight paths for bats, and branches and leaves create shady conditions that don't allow the house to warm up enough during the day. As a result, most tree houses never become occupied. There are rare occasions where a bat house on a tree trunk makes sense: large trees with tall trunks that are unobstructed and get plenty of sunlight. However, bat houses in trees are vulnerable to predators. Also, as the tree grows, the screws will get pushed and go through the house, and may crack the wood and ruin the house.  If you have the option, go with a pole or side of the house or barn.