Moonrise Bat House

And now a little something for our nocturnal friends!  

When I started this whole new phase of my work, birdhouses seemed the obvious place to start.  It’s easy to get lost in all the possibilities, and I’ve spent seemingly countless hours working on new and exciting variations on that particular theme.

But as much as I love our feathered friends, nothing gets my heart going like those rare moments on a dark night when I’ve been lucky enough to see a bat go fluttering by.

Bats are special, complex, wonderful little creatures, and all too rare considering the impact they have on our ecosystem.

Our human thirst for expansion has caused much hardship for our echolocating friends, and there has never been more of a  need for safe places where bats can retreat, to safely sleep away the daylight hours.

So the need for quality bat houses is very real, and yet…, I kept putting this project off.

The needs of bats are greater and much more specialized than those of the average songbird.  They need tight quarters where they can bunch up for warmth and safety from predators.  They need access to a vented area which they can crawl down to if they get too warm but still remain sheltered from the elements.  They don’t like smooth surfaces, but instead need rough or grooved material to climb and cling to.

Logistically, designing and building bat houses meant that I was forced to work bigger than my little workshop could easily accommodate.  Meaning that I was not able to multitask multiple projects while working on my first batch of bat nesting boxes.

The materials costs are also greater, particularly at a time when lumber costs have increased dramatically.  And the competition in this particular niche market is intense!

From a design perspective, I felt the need to create something that was strikingly different from the other boxes on the market, but that still satisfied the very real needs that bats have for comfort and safety.

So one by one I checked off the items on my list.

Sturdy construction (glued and doweled panels inset into a custom cedar frame) – check!

Comfortable space (a tight but roomy space with fully grooved surfaces for ease of climbing and clinging, and ventilation to allow airflow near the entrance) – check!

Weatherproof (everything tightly sealed along the top and sides) – check!

Artistic – hmmmm…,

The vast majority of Bat Houses I’ve seen on the market are all about function with only little consideration for style – and there is nothing wrong with that!  But they are mostly plain wooden boxes with little in the way of embellishment.  You simply cannot give me that much surface area and expect me not to do SOMETHING with it!

And so the great experiment: The Moonrise Bat House.  A sturdy natural cedar frame with a front panel that depicts bats in silhouette, winging their way skyward, against the light of a rising moon.  The typically horizontal vent, has been transformed into a jagged horizon line above some craggy mountains in the distance, and the grooved landing pad below, shows the reflection of the moonrise broken up by ripples of some body of water, which is otherwise lost to the darkness.

The nesting box becomes canvas for a nocturnal landscape painting, and yet is still perfectly functional as a daytime roost for sleeping bats.

The first few I built were very popular and I plan on building more soon.  If you’d like to provide a one-of a kind home to your local bats, or if you know a bat enthusiast, please follow the link to my Etsy Listing for more information!


Image shows Moonrise Bat house mounted on the side of a white building. The wooden framework surrounds the image of a night sky with a beautiful moon rising over the mountains. The silhouettes of several bats stand out against the moon.

Detailed image of the moonrise painting that covers the front panel of the bat house. A subtly textured moon can be seen rising above distant mountains. the silhouettes of bats flying up from the distance stand starkly agains the white and grey disk of the moon.