by Mr. Bang
I went on a bat-watching tour in Austin. It is really cool. The bats pour out of one of several different holes and go along the tree line so that they are camouflaged from predators. They are eaten by turtles, fish, basically any type of bird twice their size, snakes, lizards, anything with sharp teeth, basically.
They are very small creatures. Their bodies are about the size of a Chick-Fil-A chicken nugget with an 8-inch wing span. The bats are all female, all except the little babies. Each mom feeds her own baby, no other baby, just her own. She knows her baby’s scent and that’s how she finds it. When they’re newborn, all the babies are in one side of the bridge, and then the mommas go and find their young baby. If the mom doesn’t make it back, then the baby will also perish. Other bats don’t adopt babies. How they give birth is letting it slide out, fall, then catch it. And the mom would be hanging upside down.
In total, they eat up to 30,000 pounds of insects per night. They eat up to two-thirds of their body weight each night.
It takes an hour for them to all come out. There was a trail of them that just kept on going as far as I could see. Then they just come back to the bridge when they are full. They come back separately.
We were on a boat underneath them. We saw a bat that was on the side of the bridge support. It was there because it fell in the water. It was going to try to fly again. It has to jump and then catch itself and fly away. It was trying to climb back up to the top, so it could try again to fly.
Our tour guide shined a red light on them, so we could see them even in the dark.
They went to the bathroom on us. It just feels like little water droplets. It wasn’t a big deal to me.
You can also stand on the bridge or on the hill to see the bats. The boat we were on cost $40 for us, whereas the hill and bridge would be free. It was worth the $40. I learned a lot from the tour guide.
You should check out the bats if you’re ever in Austin!