Scouts add bat and birdhouses along trail

September 14, 2010

By Staff

Bats and birds received places to roost along Pickering Trail as part of a summer Boy Scout project.

Scouts built four bat houses and six birdhouses along the trail near Issaquah Creek.

The bat houses — built by Lars Boettcher as he worked toward Eagle Scout status — house little brown bats, a common species in King County. Using donations and grant dollars, he built the bat houses to state Department of Fish and Wildlife standards for the species.

In addition, Boettcher and his troop installed six birdhouses for cavity nesting birds — flickers and downy woodpeckers — along the trail.

Scout Sean Morris built the birdhouses and almost 40 others for the city Parks & Recreation Department as part of his Eagle Scout project. Plans call for the other birdhouses to be installed on city open space and natural areas in preparation for next spring.

Bats serve as important environmental indicators and insect-control agents. For instance, a single little brown bat can eat several hundred mosquitoes each night. In a single summer, a bat can eat thousands of night-flying pests.

The city has asked trail users not to disturb the roosting bats. During the winter, bats migrate to warmer climates or hibernate in a roost by living off of fat built up during the summer. If disturbed, a hibernating bat uses the fat reserve, putting the animal in danger.

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