The Ever-Popular Build-a-Bat-House Website

from Wildlife Promise

Painting my bat house

Painting my bat house in 2004

Have you ever wanted to build a bat house? Apparently, LOTS of people are interested. How do I know?

Many years ago, I wrote a page on how to build a bat house on National Wildlife Federation’s website. I write lots of content on the site, but this activity was extra fun. I had not really used power tools before, and I am certainly not a wood worker. But I wanted to give it a try.

Building the Bat House

I went to Bat Conservation International’s website. This is a very cool organization which does amazing things to help bats. I downloaded their instructions on how to build a bat house. First I was quite surprised by how big the bat house was going to be. Most bat houses I had seen in local stores were quite small. Perhaps people didn’t want to think they were hosting a HUGE amount of bats. But BCI was quite clear, this was the minimum size for an optimum bat house.

So on September 24, 2004, I managed to build my bat house without much fuss, experimenting as I went along, and taking lots of photos.

People Just Love the Bat House Website

Since that time, the bat house page has consistently been a very popular page on www.nwf.org. All the time, all the seasons, no matter what the issues are, ever since.

We have thousands of web pages on our site, and thousands of people visit the site. But this page just keeps plugging away. We have changed the outside wrapper on it probably four times since then, along with the URL as it moves around in the site.

So far in 2010, it has been viewed 37,297 times and it’s the 52nd most popular page. This may sound low, but we have thousands of pages. The top 50 pages are all higher in the site, or donation pages, or job pages, or relate to the oil spill. This page is way down in the site.

In 2009, it was the 35th most popular page with 87,858 views.

My colleagues featured this article on the National Wildlife Federation’s Facebook page two days ago and already 213 people have liked the article, and 33 people wrote comments. Kristin Johnson, NWF’s Online Editorial Manager, told me that is a very high response, about double from similar articles.

So anyhow, I just think it is fascinating that a bat house page is by far the most popular page in our Garden for Wildlife website, beside actually certifying your yard. People think bats are creepy? I don’t think so. They seem to LOVE them.

So What Happened to the Bat House?

Sawing grooves in my bat house

Sawing grooves in my bat house

If you read the article about how to build at bat house, at the end I say “I’ll need to get more information about how to hang it up which I’ll add to this website as soon as possible.” So that was in 2004 and I haven’t added instructions about that to the website. Sorry about that.

I built this bat house back when I had little babies, and as any young mother knows, hanging a bat house doesn’t really reach the top of the “to-do” list. So I gave the bat house to a friend at National Wildlife Federation in the hopes it might get put up here. Unfortunately we don’t know what happened to it. We looked all over, but it’s now been six years and there’s no sign of it. I’m hopeful it is up somewhere in the yard of a keen gardener helping bats. So I should really update the content… as soon as possible.

Good luck with your bat house efforts!

 

Feel like helping a furry, flying mammal in need? You can symbolically adopt a bat today!