Importance of Bats in Maine
Maine is fortunate to have eight bat species, and much of the work of protecting crops, gardens, and backyards can be attributed to the Little Brown and other bats. They are year-round residents of Maine. Although not active in winter, bats can be found in every Maine town, snugly resting next to a warm chimney, often without the home owner’s knowledge of their presence.
Bats are Maine’s greatest resource in controlling insects, since a bat may consume half its weightâ€”or as many as 2,500 insectsâ€”in a single night. Bats forage widely over garden areas, open fields, streams, wetlands, and ponds. All are desirable habitats. Maine has plenty of flying insects from May through September but there is a housing shortage for bats.
That’s where Mid-Coast Audubonâ€”and you, tooâ€”come in. Chapter members produce bat boxes designed for our latitude and made from native white pine at an affordable cost of $20. We make the boxesâ€”you put them up! Almost everyone has a suitable location for one or more bat boxes. Bat boxes should preferably face south, mounted at least 10 feet above ground and free from obstructions below the box.
To get a bat box from Mid-Coast Audubon please call Lew Purinton at (207) 549-5257 or email him. Lew can provide more information about bats, and help you get a copy of Mid-Coast Audubon’s publication Maine’s Bats ($5 pp).
Photo by Paul van Hoof