While some of the 32 bat species found in Texas stay year round, most of the bats are Mexican free-tails, which migrate to Mexico in the winter and return in the spring. Peak-view-ing months for bat flights are July and August; the most spectacular flights take place in hot, dry weather. Bat colonies usually emerge from their shelters around dusk, but during periods of drought, they may emerge earlier. Contact information for some bat-watching sites follows. For information about other bat sites, visit BCI’s Web site, and check out the Web Extra.
- Ann Richards Congress Ave. Bridge, in downtown Austin. Call the Austin American-Statesman’s Bat Hotline at 512/416-5700, ext. 3636, or Austin CVB at 800/926-ACVB.
- Frio Bat Cave, south of Concan. Call 830/966-2320.
- Kickapoo Caverns State Park (Stuart Bat Cave), north of Brackettville. Call 830/563-2342.
- Old Tunnel Wildlife Management Area, between Fredericksburg and Comfort. Call 830/990-2659.
- Devil’s Sinkhole State Natural Area, northeast of Rocksprings. Call 830/683-BATS.
- Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve, southwest of Mason. Call 325/347-5970.
- Bracken Cave, north of San Antonio. Although the cave is off-limits to the general public, Bat Conservation International, which owns the site, hosts viewing nights during the summer for its members. For details, call 512/327-9721.
From the August 2009 issue.
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