Thursday, August 3, 2017

Full House

If you are following my Instagram feed, you probably did wonder what on earth we were up to last night.

A post shared by Sara Dunham (@thecrazysheeplady) on


A post shared by Sara Dunham (@thecrazysheeplady) on

Remember the barn quilt bats?  They set up camp behind the barn quilt again this spring, but about a month ago I stopped seeing bat droppings on the ground and I was afraid we'd lost them all.  There were never very many and bats are really struggling these days :-/.

I was very happy and relieved to still see a couple bats leaving the barn in the days to follow.  I tried to poke around to see if I could figure out where they'd moved, but had no luck.  I didn't worry too much about it though.  I was just happy they were still here, alive and well.

When the weather turned so hot and humid that I was locking the sheep out of the barn in the late afternoon to force them into the shade (the sun beats down on the outer shed) and give the barn a chance to dry out, I'd sit behind the barn with them for awhile at night before I let them back in.

Right as it got dark, whoosh whoosh whoosh...  So that's where the bats were living!  I again poked around the back part of the barn, but couldn't find them.  Were they in the rafters?  Under the eaves? I still couldn't find them, the sneaky little bats, but I was on to them ;-).

Last week I happened upon some tell tale signs of bats, guano.  I'd come around the back corner of the barn and noticed it on the gate for the last stall on the horse side of the barn.  Huh.  Right under the bat house.  How about that.

My brother gave us that bat house (five or six?) years ago.  No one had ever used it.  We didn't have any other suitable locations to try moving it to, so we'd just left it.  After all these years, it was now occupied.  And not by just a couple bats!


I took this video last night.  Tim noticed one bat flying from the front of the barn over to the bat house and then everyone started leaving the house.  We are wondering if that was an adult waking all the kids up?

How many can you count?  Leave your number in the comments and we'll have a drawing for one of the new drawstring bags.  The bats aren't named, but we can be thankful that they are keeping so many bugs away from all the named sheep :-).


Here is a shorter, closer up video from the night before.  Isn't this cool?

After everyone cleared out and was safely off to work, Saint Tim got to work installing a second bat house.  He put it next to the original house, about 12" away.  I'm a bit worried that it is too close, but he had to work around a tobacco vent.  

I've emailed a bat conservation group to check.  Hopefully he won't have to go back up and move it although he did say he was less scared of heights when it was too dark to see how far he might fall ;-).  Reason #1694 for why we call him Saint Tim!


26 comments:

Susan M said...

I think I saw 29 bats leave.......

Karen B said...

Wow! I think I counted 31, and that didn't include the first one who went to wake up all the others. Amazing!

Michelle said...

So great to see! I counted 30 leaving the bat house, and spotted seven flying around in the distance (including the "wake-up" bat).

JanejMtl said...

I counted 31 ( not including the ones flying around in the distance).

Sheepmom said...

Amazing! Definately time for a second house, I would think. I love the sound of the insects.... distant dog.... the slow waterfall of bats....talk about a peaceful evening. Good ol' Saint Tim! My dad often made repairs to the barn roof at night so he couldn't see how far up he was - just a pool of light from the lantern. He had a wedge shaped 'shelf' that he'd set on the roof with all his supplies and work to replace shingles, etc from it. Cooler at night too!

thecrazysheeplady said...

The dog barking is not Hank. I guess it's Skipper up the road, but can't believe we can hear it. Maybe the camera was set for super sensitive. I love the bug sounds too :-).

knittinggrammy said...

so cool. I counted 30 bats.
so good to have them to gobble up those insects!!

Laurie in Maine said...

I counted 31 also not counting anything flying across in front already out or bird? Here they come...shhh! ;)

thecrazysheeplady said...

I know. I was like Shushy on the Simpsons ;-D

Windswept Farm said...

I counted 29 from the box. Wow that seems like a lot. I really enjoyed these videos.

Shirley said...

I am going to look into getting a bat house- I keep finding dead bats :( and I wonder if our barn cats are killing them.

Denny Gross said...

I counted 35 but some of those were probably counted twice.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure I counted 31, at the very beginning I think there was a little group of three that came out really fast.

The gentle night sounds were really soothing, I would love to have been sitting there with you.

Chris S in Canada

Jean said...

After watching 3 times and coming up with 3 different totals (LOL) I am going with 30 leaving the bat house

wyomingheart said...

I come up with 32, and what a wonderful sight those bug devouring creatures are!!!

sophy0075 said...

Others have already said 30, but I'll agree.Instead of the cliche "packed in like sardines ", I'm going to say "packed in like bats." I'm sure they will be very grateful for the new home St Tim is putting up!

Suzanne said...

I counted 30. Amazing they all fit in there.

LannieK said...

How cool! I didn't think that 30 bats could fit into one bat house! That is really cool! Thanks so much for sharing it with us! Have you determined what kind of bats they are? They look big. Much bigger than the 2" brown bats that we sometimes have around here. Yea to St Tim for putting up another bat house! You'll never have a bug in site.

Terry and Linda said...

Okay...I think I counted 30.

As for having bats! WONDERFUL! The wind turbines are causing huge issues with them, so know you have bats is great.

I haven't seen any here the last two years...makes me sad.

Linda

Kaye Myers said...

Holy Cannoli! I think I already win the prize for the worst guess ever...'cause I only counted eight the first time and six the second??? Must have a really lousy resolution on this old screen! Happy Bat Day!'

Rhumpelthreadz said...

Love the sounds. Very relaxing!

T.L. Merrybard said...

Yes very cool! So lovely and peaceful too. We have a main highway near us and the roar of the truck traffic rarely quiets down these days.

Marsha said...

That is so cool. I think I counted 30. Wow!

Dazerdoo said...

I counted 32 bats! That means a lot less bigs for you.

Cheryl West said...

I counted 30 bats leaving their house. I am so amazed that so many fit into the space.
How thrilling for you to have so many around your barn. They will no doubt be very happy to have double the housing.
We put up a bat house many years ago but it is away from the sight line of our house so I can only hope that it has been used.

Mrs Shoes said...

I only saw 27...
Been trying to convince Mr Shoes to put up a bat house or 2; Heaven knows, I'd love to have more bug-eaters around the farm!

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