The New York Times got a little batty about Texas bats

According to a recent New York Times article, a summer evening in Texas just “isn’t complete without a bat show.”

People watch as Mexican free-tailed bats exit the South Congress bridge for the night on Monday, August 1, 2016 in search of insects such as mosquitoes. The colony of bats is said to reach 1.5 million during peak season when the babies have learned to fly on their own. Jessalyn Tamez / AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN

People watch as Mexican free-tailed bats exit the South Congress bridge for the night on Monday, August 1, 2016. Jessalyn Tamez / AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN

That groundbreaking news is the focus of a brief piece about nightly bat shows throughout Central Texas, complemented by some information on the Mexican free-tailed bats themselves.

Related: Ways to view the Austin bats

The piece opens up by describing a scene in which more than 15 million bats emerge from San Antonio’s Bracken Cave, the world’s largest bat colony. Cue a line about how everything’s bigger in Texas and the author explains why the bats’ Lone Star State homes are ideal.

According to the article, the dome ceilings of our caves — or bridge — trap heat, which creates a nesting ground for female bats to raise their young before migrating in the fall. Apparently, the millions of bats that take off all at once are all females and babies. “The males are around, but they’re scattered about in smaller caves or parking garages.”

Quiz: Test your bat knowledge

The Times advises that the best time to see Texas bats come out to play is when it’s hot and dry and hungry because that’s when they come out early. Though Austin bats were snubbed and not chosen to be the central focus of this piece, the city did get a solid shout out.

Photos: Bats under South Congress Bridge

“For a more urban experience,” the articles reads, “you can have a picnic or cocktail and watch 1.5 million bats drop down from under the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin and take off across the river like a school of fish.”

To read up some more about our nocturnal friends, read the full article here. 

 

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