Living in Harmony




Bat TowerInstallation of the Bat Tower at Harmony

New Bat Tower in Harmony

Why are there so many scary stories about bats? Perhaps it's because they're fast nighttime flyers making it hard for us to see what they're up to. But if you can't see them, their echolocation ability allows them to "see" you very well and avoid any contact. That is, unless you're about the size and appearance of a bug.

The red-roofed structure on the far side of the pond along Schoolhouse Road is the Harmony bat tower. All of the bats that live in Florida are insect eaters and are the primary predators of night-flying insects, such as leafhoppers, moths midges, winged ants, beetles and, of course, mosquitoes.

The Harmony bat tower has the potential to house several thousand bats, and if each were to eat its normal tally of 500 to 1,000 insects, you can quickly see that a maximum-sized colony here could remove well over a million a night and save our environment from the insecticides that would otherwise need to be sprayed to get the same control.

The Harmony bat tower is one of the largest houses in Florida.  The largest in North America is on the campus of the University of Florida in Gainesville and can house more than 100,000 bats.  Do the insect math on that one!

The first bat house at Harmony was placed near the 8th fairway of the Golf Preserve and has a capacity of about 500 bats.  Bats usually have a range of one-mile or less and tend to prefer the edge of tree lines over wide open areas, meaning a colony here should have Lakeshore Park pretty well covered.  Having smaller bat houses scattered throughout Harmony can provide long-term insect protection as well as an exciting and inspiring addition to the evening sky. 

How soon will bats move in?  The first Harmony bat house took four years for bats to find it.  The one in Gainesville had a similar wait, so we’re counting on the “build it and they will come” approach for bat hospitality.  Keep your eyes peeled for fluttering shapes in the evening skies above the pond.

Bats normally roots under loose tree bark, hanging palm fronds, and in other small spaces. This tower supplements those natural sites and provides more reliable warmth that bats enjoy.

A recycling project in its own right, the tower originally served as the portico entrance to the Harmony Neighborhood School near the docks of Buck Lake. Modifications were made to the tower by Fly-By-Night Bats, a more trustworthy company than their name may imply.

For more information about bats and bat houses, please visit the websites listed to the right in Additional Resources and Fact Sheets.

Bat House at Harmony












Participants of a bat workshop during the 5th Annual Dark Sky Festival at Harmony observe a bat emerging from the bat house located near the 8th fairway of the Harmony Golf Preserve.



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