In an ongoing effort to enhance the habitat to better serve the native wildlife on our property in East Texas we’ve been providing shelter for birds and bats as part of our wildlife management plan.
Recently I tackled the task of building a two-chamber rocket bat house designed by Bat Conservation International. While it’s a fairly simple design, due to over 1300 horizontal, 1/16 inch deep cuts that allow the bats to roost inside the double chamber design, it takes a fair amount of time to construct. Based on reported success rates of the design I hope it ends up being worth the extra effort.
This design has been modified in the past few years where it once called for two boxes to be built around a 4x4 wooden post. The top 45 inches of the 4x4 post previously made up the inner most chamber. The modified design now calls for a 20 foot long, 2 inch diameter steel pole instead of the 4x4 wooden post. This eliminates the chance of the bats being exposed the toxins in treated lumber plus the metal pole adds possible height to the house and extends the life of the design.
Now a tight pole sleeve box is built around the 2 inch pipe and takes the place of the original 4x4 post. An inner chamber box is built around the pole sleeve and an outer chamber box creates the outer chamber and the exterior surface. Small ¾ inch spacers between the chamber walls provide all the room that the bats need to roost. The inner chamber also has 1 ½ inch passage holes that allow that bats to move from one chamber to the other without having to go outside the house.
The plans suggest using deck screws however I opted to use an air powered staple gun which is what is used to attach most plywood sheathing in residential construction. I also used an air powered finish nail gun for the inner roof. On a side note I find that a finish nail gun is great to use to build bird houses while the staple gun is great when you have a heavy project like a rocket bat house.
A few more construction pictures are at –
For those interested in a DIY project, the University of Nebraska has the best plans that I found available online for the 2-chamber Rocket Bat House from Bat Conservation International.