The restored barn gable with bat house and barn owl box
Sept 2001 - The upper part of the south gable end of our barn has been battened both inside and out and the hay entrance replaced with a window. The small opening on the right with the turned perch opens to a large nest box for our barn owls. Hopefully, they will discover the box this winter when the scaffolding is down and nest there next spring. An infrared videocamera is permanently mounted in this box. The small opening on the left is the entrance to the interior bat house. Vertical bars on this entrance exclude birds. A small opening at the top of one of the three chambers in this bat house allows the bats to enter from the interior of the barn. This will eventually be closed, allowing access from the outside only. A plastic window box under the bat house collects the guano and can easily be emptied at the end of the season. Fiberglass mesh prevents the bats from entering the guano box. I am presently building windows to replace the ventilators and continuing down the wall with battens. But, in the meantime, most of the bats have already moved to an outside bat house.
2003 Update - The south gable wall is completed and barn owls are already using their new nest box. The big brown bats are using the electrically heated box on the east wall, well away from the owls, as well as the porch shutters and barn eaves. All is well!
2007 update -
The east wall renovation required removal of both bat boxes. The big brown bats are making use of both the barn eaves and, on hot days, the house shutters on the upstairs porch, in the shade of the sycamores. There are still over 50 bats, no fewer than when they had access to the interior of the barn. A bat and swift tower is on my to do list.
© 2001 - 2013, American Artifacts and Richard Van Vleck, Taneytown, Maryland.