Aug 21, 2008

America's Neighborhood Bats

Understanding and Learning to Live in Harmony with Them
by Merlin D. Tuttle

Our backyard seems to be a mosquito breeding ground. One night I saw a bat flitting about. Haven't since, but I want to know more about them. So when I saw this book offered as a two-for-one on Paperback Swap, I grabbed it. A quick read, short but very informative, with gorgeous photographs. America's Neighborhood Bats taught me that there are nearly a thousand species of bats, that flying foxes are more closely related to primates than rodents, that bat are natural pollinators of some plants like bananas, avocados, mangoes, and agave, from which tequila is made. And that one mouse-eared bat can eat six hundred mosquitoes in an hour! That's what I wanted to hear! Plus, bats do not attack people, rarely transmit rabies, and only bite if you pick them up. If you leave them alone, they leave you alone (and eat all your nasty bugs). Bats are cool. I want to install a bat house in my yard now, and I'm going to look for more to read about them. This book has sparked my interest.

Rating: 3/5 ........ 96 pages, 1988

5 comments:

Lezlie said...

Hi, Jeane!

The morning of the 4th of July we found that a bat had taken up residence in our patio umbrella! We went out the next day and bought a bat box for him and Peter put him in there when we found him in the umbrella again the next week. I don't think he or anyone else has moved in yet, as he was a little miffed about being moved. We're hoping though! The people at the bird store said to be patient. It may take a while for them to find it. They're such interesting animals!

Lezlie

Jeane said...

The book says they're very particular about roosting sites according to the space and temperature changes. You might have to move the bat box to several different locations before you find one where he'll stay. Do you know what kind of bat it is?

Lezlie said...

No clue what kind he is. Peter did move the box already though. He did a little research and then moved it to a higher, North-facing spot on a different tree where he could cut away some branches so the sun would hit it during the day to keep it warmer. We'll leave it there for a while and see what happens. We're hoping to eventually have a bunch of them move in, because we live on the edge of a wetland and have mosquitoes galore! :-)

Lezlie

verbivore said...

Bats are way cool. I've loved them since reading Diane Ackerman's wonderful wonderful book - The Moon by Whalelight. Have you read that? I suspect you would love it. Here in Lausanne and all around the region where I live, at the end of August there is something called The Night of the Bats with guided tours at night to see and learn about bats in their various habitats.

Jeane said...

I haven't read it yet, but it's creeping up to the top of my TBR list. You're the second person who's suggested it to me! I didn't know it talked about bats.