Bracken Bat Cave – Largest Aggregations of Bats

The Bracken Bat Cave is situated in southern Comal County, Texas, outside the city of San Antonio. In the summer home to the largest colony of bats in the world. Every year in summer, approximately twenty million Mexican Free-tailed bats move around from Mexico to Texas. They give birth and raise their pups. These bats take to migrate all across the state, the largest congregation takes place at Bracken Cave. From March to October, every night, these miniature creatures fly out of the 100-foot-wide crescent-shaped opening to feed.
The mass departure of bats is sluggish. In the first, they linger at the cave’s lip, circling round and round inside before emerging. But after 4 hours, countless millions of bats stream out of the cave in elegant swirls. They rise into the wide sky and dissipate in the distance. They spread out over a 60-mile radius from the cave at heights of up to 10,000 feet. And over the next eight to twelve hours nosh on hundreds of tons of insects, like moths and agricultural pests.
They’ve dense emergence that it shows up on Doppler radar, as per Those who have seen the bats’ nightly emergence have described the sound they generate as that of a steadily falling rainstorm. Bat lovers and tourists, and a host of other creatures expectantly wait for their exit. Great Horned Owl and Harris’s Hawks scope out potential dinners from nearby trees, while skunks, raccoons, opossums, and rattlesnakes lurk on the ground to strike low-flying bats from the air.
The Bracken bat colony eats plenty of insects every night. They play a vital role in pest control, helping farmers control moths, beetles, and insects that destroy corn, cotton, and other crops. The Bracken site has had an important role in Texas and US history. The cave was mined in the midst of the 18th century (the 1860s) for guano (bat droppings) to manufacture black gunpowder, during the Civil War.
The guano was afterward used as a rich fertilizer for croplands across the USA. The Bracken Bat Cave sits upon private land owned by Bat Conservation International which owns 697 acres of undeveloped land around it. Moreover, access to the cave is restricted to keep the habitat of the resident bats. But evening guided tours to the cave are offered to look at the bats emerging from the cave.
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