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Mason County News
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Bat Cave Report
Wednesday, August 25, 2010 • Posted August 25, 2010

Hawks are truly at their absolute best right now at The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve. With stunning performances, the crowds hold back gasps of disbelief and perhaps a little dismay as they watch these tiny mammals become a meal for these dynamic birds of prey. The bats are heading out for their nightly visitation over the countryside and one of their greatest predators has quickly set up attempts to prevent some of these from reaching their goal.

The pups are flying almost like pros now and the air directly in front of the cave shows off that talent. Circular vortexes and tight ribbons heading out into the sky have become much improved since just a few short weeks ago. The babies are growing up....and very quickly. In one short season they are born, they grow at a tremendous rate and are out on their own in just about five weeks after birth. Impressive, but also necessary.

The Hisses have also been favorites at the cave. (Not favorites of the bats though). These crawling characters have slithered their way into fame out on the little eight acres that they call home...The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve. They have shown the visiting public why they are called WHITE RACERS. With speed, accuracy, and determination they stun the audience with their predatory feats against the bats.

In May when we open The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve we have about 1.6 million expectant mother bats calling this their summer home. Around June 15th other female Mexican free-tail bats that belong to other colonies will join our mothers-to-be. They know that this is the PERFECT place to give birth to their new pups. Each mother will give birth to one tiny, pink and hairless baby. Four weeks later the pups begin learning to fly. After about the second week in August, the visiting moms and their pups will head back to their summer colonies and live there until their return to Mexico about the second week of October. Our 1.6 million moms and their 1.6 million pups will stay at The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve to protect our night skies until the first significant cold front and then they too will head south to their homes in Mexico.

The emergence has been around 7:30 P.M. We are open Thursday-Sunday, from 6-9 P.M. You are invited to witness this great display of life! Call 325-347-5970 for more details. The Nature Conservancy has been the proud steward of this phenomenal Preserve for 20 years and would like to extend this invitation for you to be a viewing part of what I call "THE HEARTBEAT OF THE HILLCOUNTRY!" See ya at the cave!

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