{san antonio} hours of bats

May 27, 2015



Last month, my team at work went on a team retreat, where we spent a few days in and around Austin, Texas. Our first night there, we drove over an hour to get to San Antonio area, where, due to special connections, we were able to gain admittance to view Bracken Bat Cave. Not open to the public, Bracken is the biggest maternal bat colony in the world!

Every night at dusk, or slightly after, 10 million Mexican free-tailed bats begin their journey flying out of this underground cave. At this particular cave, all of the bats are pregnant females, so after they each give birth later in the spring, the cave will be home to an estimated 20 million bats!

We only stayed for a little over an hour, but every night, it takes 4 hours for all the bats to fly out of the cave to feed. Because they are fighting gravity, the bats have to circle out of the cave in a funnel shape in order to gain enough momentum to fly up out of the cave, and trust me, what a sight this was to behold! I tried, and failed, several times, to capture on camera the feeling of bats flying overhead in a constant stream numbering thousands, but pictures simply don’t do it justice! There was even a distinct earthy smell in the air as soon as the bats started flying. The picture below was the best I could do!



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