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Bats: Like dogs that can fly

Credit: My Free Photos

Bats are really cool. I have always thought so, and not just because I used to be slightly obsessed with vampires. Bats are mammals, but they can fly. Some species, like Giant Indian Fruit Bats, even look like dogs with wings. Seriously —  that’s why they’re also known as flying foxes.

I think miniature pinschers might just be the wingless Dodo birds of the bat kingdom. At least, Scooby has the look. Every Halloween, I swear I’m going to get him a little Batman cape, but then I never do.

What I should do instead is build a bat house. Along with so many other species, bats aren’t doing so hot. Bat Conservation International does a great job of explaining — and organizing against — the various threats to the world’s bat population.

White nose syndrome — not what was going on with Machete in the photo at right — is a biggie. The fungus that grows on their bodies and disturbs their hibernation spreads easily in bat colonies and is almost 100 percent fatal.

Wind turbines are super dangerous to bats (as well as birds), too. This is a mega bummer, considering that Zach and I dream of someday installing a small, residential turbine like the Jellyfish by Clarian on our house.

At this point, building a bat house would be a more practical project. The aforementioned Bat Conservation International has blueprints. However, like Scooby’s batman costume, this is something I have been talking about for years. I am hoping that commiting to it on this blog will increase the likelihood of my getting it done.

Also, I think that inviting some bats to hang out near our garden would help control the mosquito population next summer. The photo at left is a bathouse I saw while walking Machete recently. I don’t think it’s homemade. In fact, I am pretty sure that I saw bat houses just like this at Planters Seed and Spice, a kickass local garden center that I am ashamed to say I only recently discovered. So, maybe I don’t have to get out the hammer and nails afterall…

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About crystalwayward

I live with two formerly wayward dogs. I care deeply about the environment, and I think gardening is a revolutionary act.

Posted on September 16, 2011, in Gardening, Projects, Random Life, Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I just heard a story on white nose syndrome in bats on NPR…so sad! I'd never seen a bat before we moved to KC.They are super cool animals!

  2. Awesome! I didn’t know bat houses existed. And I’m pretty sure Scooby should wear bat wings year-round.

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