As I was going through different magazines, I found an interesting article on the biggest bat cave. I had no idea about this cave before. But as I was deepening more, it was getting more exciting! So I thought why not to share with you guys!
This bat cave house is known as Bracken Cave located in the southern Comal Country, Texas, outside of the city San Antonio. It’s the summer home of the largest colony of bats owned by Bat Conservation International (BCI). Almost 20 million Mexican free-tailed bats make their abode in the Bracken cave during March to October. It’s considered as the largest bat colony in the world.
It’s a dark cave mouth nestled at the bottom of a steep hill. Down a narrow gravel drive, and crossing cactus and scrub cedars, you’ll finally reach to the cave mouth where you can see the tornado of the bat coming out of the cave at 7:30 each night.
It’ll be a great experience to watch them emerging from the cave mouth. According to Fran Hutchins, the Bracken Cave Preserve Director for BCI, it’s tough to wow kids, but certainly, it can do! It’s surely an eye-catching sight.
Almost 4 hours every night the bats fly off to the corn and cotton field in south Texas for food. The colony alone consumes 100 tons of bugs every night. So I think, the farmers are grateful to the bats for keeping the insect population down. So you can see that it plays a great role in the ecosystem.
The Bracken Cave is 650 feet by 100 feet which you can say a sinkhole. Mexican Free-tailed Bats mate in winter in Mexico and come to the southern cave dispersing in 2 colonies- male bachelor colonies and maternity colonies. By mid-June, the population doubled after giving birth to pups! So I think the place is very small compared to the population. But surprisingly, it’s cozy for the baby bats as the cave works as a giant incubator, according to Brennan, the BCI docent.
Thousands of bats appear from the bat cave house in a vibrating current. You can have a better look by climbing into the branches. You can have some clicks of the bat, but you need to be expert in using lighting techniques without disorienting them.
BCI has provided a great opportunity to overnight campout at Bracken Cave to watch the whole scenario of the bat night journey till the morning when they return back.