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Bat Cave Report
Wednesday, May 27, 2009 • Posted May 27, 2009

This week I got a message on my answering machine from John Berry of Southlake, Texas, near Dallas. John owns land here in Mason and he was seeking a remedy for a problem that he had.

He said it all started when he brought eight of his buddies to The Eckert James River Bat Cave a couple of years ago. He said that they were so excited when they left that they bought him a bat house as a thank you gift.

The story doesn’t end there. He then proceeded to tell me that he bought a large, heavy pipe from here in town. He welded a cross-arm on the top of it and mounted the bat house on it before setting it in a concrete footing. But he said that he wasn’t getting any bats interested in moving in. The more that we talked bats and bat houses, the more he kept repeating, “I guess I am going to have to dig it up and move it.”

What the problem seemed to be with his wonderfully orchestrated attempt at drawing in bats to his place here in Mason left a small glitch in the final outcome of attracting bats. I soon realized that perhaps it was the location that was the problem. I told him to think like a bat and look around and tell me what was around the bat house.

“There are trees,” he said. We discussed the possibility that predators may be in the trees and that would definitely be a problem for the bats that were looking for a nice safe home. I brought up owls.

He told me that there were indeed owls on his place. Voila! Owls love bats. I don’t mean this in a healthy way for the bats! Bats are a delicacy for owls. Trees + owls + a tall pole with a bat house=no bats! When his friends come down to visit again I think that they will all have a job to do. We are going to keep a close watch on this project and report back to you.

Another bat house project that is happening here in Mason involves the Webers. Patrick took me to the back of his station and showed me a newly painted bat house attached to a long pole. He said that Theresa was being very persistent in her attempts at getting her bat house put up. She said that she loves to watch bats. As with John Berry and his great bat house project, we will also follow the progress of the Weber’s bat house.

We have had some tremendous emergences at The Eckert James River Bat Cave. Current emergence time is between 7-7:30 p.m. There has been lots of predation from owls, hawks, raccoons, and a skunk that is now fondly known as Geraldine.

On the 21st of May, I was a guest on KVUE TV early morning show. I am not particularly a morning person, but I did manage to be at the studio at six a.m. We went live at 6:30 a.m. I can honestly tell you, it IS much more terrifying than it looks. I have a very deep appreciation for all of those broadcasters who do this every day and make it look so simple. I had a lot of fun, flubbed up a few times, finally calmed down and just went with it.

All of this began as a wonderful memory that started at the Eckert James River Bat Cave. Come on out and join the fun. You may not end up on T.V., but then again, who knows?

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