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Signs of spring blog four

Spring Blog Four
Homeless bats can find succor in Bill Hamilton’s bat house.
3/5/2012 —



There may be bats in the belfry, but there are no bats in the house.

Two years ago, ecologist blogger Bill Hamilton, assistant professor of biology at Penn State New Kensington, assembled a bat house and attached it to a spruce tree behind his Apollo house. The offer of free room and board was extended to any brown bat, the most common bat in the state. So far, the vacancy sign remains lit.

“I have seen brown bats roosting under eaves of local outbuildings and up in the attics of several of our neighbors' houses,” said Hamilton. “This species does not appear to be picky about choosing its roosts, except when it came to my bat house.”

Hamilton and Deborah Silman, senior instructor in biology at the campus, maintain a blog site, "Ecologist's Notebook: Reflections on the Natural World of Western Pennsylvania," that reports on their observations around their house and on local nature trails, as well as the campus nature trail. Each spring, the biologists blog about the birds, insects, mammals and flowers that herald the arrival of spring. The fourth blog, "Bats on the Way," was written Feb. 27.

For the blog and comments, visit http://www.personal.psu.edu/hw7/blogs/nature/index.html online.

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