While we’re digging in the dirt, we can’t forget our Oatlands bats flying through the air. Here’s the latest: bat experts have determined that we have a maternal colony of Large Brown Bats.
The bats are living at the top of the columns. Note the dark area in the upper left of the column in the photo to the left. Yup, the guano was our first clue. The bats roost all day and come out at sunset to feed on insects. They have their pups in the spring and nurse them like all mammals. The pups will be weened and ready to feed on insects by September at the latest.
Due to the age and historical significance of our building, the bats need to find new lodging. However, we don’t want to hurt them in any way, so we’ll wait until September to make any move to dislodge them from the columns. Our bat experts will be building bat houses (they apparently like roomy, multi-chamber ones) in appropriate areas of the property to accommodate our colony. We have a particularly gnatty section out back and we’d love a little bat assistance out there! Most importantly, the bats will be protected here. They are our welcome guests.