Bat House at McFarland Park, Story County, Iowa
My Eagle Scout project consisted of building a large bat house at McFarland Park near Ames, Iowa. The structure is made to accommodate hundreds of bats, although I don’t know if it has ever been occupied. It was built and installed around 1995/1996, and much has been learned about how to make bat houses since then. In 2006 my father and I added a vertical landing platform under the roosting areas. After looking at modern bat house designs it seemed that a landing platform was the most important feature that was missing. The landing platform was heavily scored with a table saw to give the bats something to grab onto and climb. The roosting partitions were also scored with a rotary tool.
After 10 years the structure still looks fantastic and is holding up remarkably well. The hope is that the vertical landing platform and scoring of the roosting partitions will make the structure more attractive to bats.
If you’re wondering why anyone would want to build a bat house, I recommend going to Bat Conservation International – Install a Bat House FAQ