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Bat Nursery.


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We have always had a couple of bats roosting behind the shutters on one of the bedroom windows.

Looked yesterday and its completely full of bats, difficult to count without disturbing them but there must be twenty or so.

I'm told that its a bat nursery but have never seen one before.

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Difficult as the gap between the wall and the shutter is small.

[IMG]http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p211/Bugbear2/P1000305.jpg[/IMG]

Best I could do without disturbing them. All those 'little black lumps' are bats [8-|]

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These bats are almost certainly Pipistrelles.  They love to roost and breed behind wood like the facing on timber clad buildings.

If you are lucky enough to have a bat box you can find up to 80 young bats in a space approximately 4" x5" x5" if it is anursery colony.

Under European legislation bats are protected species and it is illegal to disturb a roost site during the season so try not to use that shutter.(Ironically this means that you can move bat boxes or treat timber when there the bats go ibto hibernation during winter.)

Grumpy

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Thing is, some people are often very selective about animals - they love butterflies and birds - and yet are hell bent on killing anything that they feed on. And they hate mozzies and pesky insects, but determined to kill whatever eats them. They admire a bird of prey taking a mouse, but hate crows or magpies for having been designed to eat small birds, etc. Crows can't decide to become veggie or eat tofu!

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Our grass has lots of ants nests and our French neighbour keeps telling me to put poison down - she just can't understand why it does not bother us - birds love picking at them and even better, their eggs, whenever we disturb them with the lawn mower.

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We have had people staying who have left windows in our staircase open at night.

Now we have a roost of about 20 bats in a hole in our staircase wall.

I have a hunch that some are young - but can this be the case as they only arrived about 2 weeks ago?

Can some-one tell me how to help them leave?  I love bats, but am worried that if we leave windows open more will arrive, and if we close them the bats will starve!

I have tried to close windows when the bats are out, but they don't seem to get up until 5am...and I am worried if there are young, too.

Perhaps we have to leave windows open until September - can anyone advise?

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Hi vie-en rose.  With the hole already inhabited it is unlikely that any other bats will arrive as that would be a separate colony and hence incompatible.  I think you will have to wait till the bats go off to hibernate for winter but you only need to leave a gap of approx 2mm as these bats are most likely pipistrelles.  All bats are protected under European Species Conservation legislation so you can't interfer with the roost.

Refering to an earlier posting on volets versus bat boxes. the latter gives far superior protection to the colony from predators like woodpeckers and they are extremely easy to build for any handyman (easier than hanging a volet) so I'd go for the box anytime.

Grumpy

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Thanks for that.

I think they are long-eared bats - we have pipistrelles and short-eared bats too.

But why would they want to leave the relative snugness of our stairwell in winter?  It might be the ideal place to hibernate - so I would still like to hear suggestions for gentle removal in due course...a friend has suggested peppermint!

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Smoke will move them, probably highly illegal though.

Its one of my earliest childhood memories, probably because it was traumatic, there were bats in the loft of our council house, the council workers (I assume thats who they were) smoked them out of the loft and as each one exitted the gable end it was despatched with a hammer, young Chancer was on the ground beside the ever growing pile of corpses.

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Bats are protected by law, yes even in France. But obviously you can't share your main habitat with them - and I'd say you need professional advice. I'd get in touch with Chris at Planetepassion to ask him who can get in touch with to help.

Chancer - what a dreadful story- it must have been quite shocking for you. The stuff of nightmares.

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Just to update, we left all doors and windows open and they went off of their own accord.

I wouldn't dream of harming them - they are one of my favourite mammals - and we did share a bedroom and living room with them for some months when we first moved in, until they finally decided that French tv was more than a bat's life was worth - or something like that!

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Re. hibernation vie-en-rose.  Bats need an even temperature at a point cold enough to make them fully torpid while there is no food around so a stairwell would not suffice. 

A classic "hibernaculum" would be underground with a door that allowed rain water in (and out) but no wind and no larger mammals. 

Rules encompasing the inspection of hibernacula are very stringent to prevent the body heat of the inspector or the heat from a non LED type torch from raising the ambient temperature and breaking hibernation which would lead to the bats starving to death because they'd used up their reserves of fat and had no food to relplace them.

Grumpy

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