Welcome to the News section of the iNSiGHT Ornithology website (
www.simoncherriman.com). This blog contains updates about various things I've been up to, interesting environmental issues and observations I make regularly while going about my day. It is designed to be fun AND educational, and inspire you about our wonderful natural world. Happy reading!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Bat Box Bugs

Today I installed some new bat boxes at Beringa Reserve in the City of Maylands. You can see one in the tree above, on a beautiful stretch of the Swan River, with a view to Perth city's buildings in the background. This is now the second batch of boxes being installed in an effort to encourage more microbats to enhance the area's biodiversity... and hopefully help control some mosquitoes. Here's what the bat boxes look like close up:

You can see the small entrance which is located at the bottom of the nest box, designed to replicate a crack in a tree trunk or crevice behind some peeling bark. This way bats are able to crawl upwards into the safety of the box chamber after landing on the 'landing pad' at the bottom. This section, just like each wall on the inside of the box, is covered with fine wire mesh to offer grip on an otherwise slippery surface of smooth plywood. The other noticeable feature is the way this box is attached to the tree. All my nest boxes are 'hung' using a length of wire which is threaded through some old garden hose. This prevents the wire from cutting into the tree, and the wire allows easy removal should the box need to be relocated, repaired or cleaned.

After installing all boxes at Beringa, I paid a visit to Clarkson Reserve where I hung 7 more earlier this year (you can read about that here). Seeing as they'd been up a few months I was excited to check them and see what creatures may have taken up residence.

Unfortunately none of the boxes had bats, but ALL had some kind of life in them, mostly in the form of insects, which was very pleasing! It might seem weird to be excited by a few bugs, but it was good to know that some local wildlife had found its way in, showing how the boxes soon become part of the trees they are in. The first box had a large Huntsman Spider sitting inside a neatly woven sphere of silk. This was a female nursing her egg sac, which should produce lots of babies soon. The second box had a few cockroaches of different varieties, and the third had another spider and a Marbled Geko which was very exciting! Here are a few snaps of the different creatures seen in today's bat boxes.

Marbled Gecko (Christinus marmoratus)

Cockroaches - great Gecko food!

Female Huntsman Spider guarding her egg sac.

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