FT 19 - Bracken Bat Cave Emergence

Tuesday, August 9, 2011: 4:30 PM-11:00 PM
Trinity Street Lobby Field Trip Pick Up, Austin Convention Center
Organizer: Edward B. Arnett
Bat Conservation International owns and manages nearly 700 acres of land including and surrounding Bracken Bat Cave, home to one of the largest community of mammals in the world. This colony, once estimated to be as many as 20 million bats in late summer, is a priceless resource. Its evening emergences are awe-inspiring. First, a few bold bats fly up from the cave's dark entrance. The trickle becomes a flood of high-speed flying bats that corkscrew upwards and emmerge in a massive vortex from the cave. Countless wings spread a whispered flutter and the hint of a breeze over the landscape. By dawn, Bracken's colony alone will have consumed some 200 tons of flying insects, many of them pests that wreak millions of dollars in damage on the region's corn and cotton crops. Witnessing an evening emergence of the Bracken bat colony is an unforgettable experience. Nothing compares for demonstrating the magic of bats. People can get a taste for the emmergence at the following link to BCI's website: http://dev.batcon.org/index.php/get-involved/visit-a-bat-location/bracken-bat-cave/subcategory.html?layout=subcategory

Registration Fee: $53

Equipment and Attire: Field attire, closed-toed shoes with socks, camera, binoculars. There are no strenuous parts to this trip.

Itinerary: Depart from hotel by 4:30 pm; travel south ~75 miles to the Bracken Bat Cave and Nature Preserve north of San Antonio, TX. Presentation during dinner (box dinner) and emmergence viewing until dark, then return to Austin by ~11:00 p.m.

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Banner photo by Flickr user greg westfall.