Mason County News
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Bat Cave Report
2013 Texas Nature Conservancy Steward
Wednesday, July 31, 2013 • Posted August 1, 2013

On a hill on the outskirts of a little town known as Mason, Texas, there is a cave. In that cave are millions and millions of bats. This cave is where the momma bats from Mexico come to give birth to tiny babies called pups. Only one pup is born each year to a momma bat, but that one takes a huge toll on her energy. She has to produce milk to nurse her little one. This milk is so rich that the pup will be almost as big as momma at four weeks and ready to take to the sky in flight. After flying around for a few weeks, they are strong and almost as good as mom at navigating the skies. This is what is happening right now at The Eckert James River Bat Cave. The current emergence time is around 7 P.M. but this can change up to an hour each night. We ask that you be at the Preserve no later than 6:30 P.M. so as not to disturb the bats.

What a show! Snakes, raccoons, bobcat, fox, skunk, roadrunners, centipede, ringtail, opossum, hawks, falcons, and even buzzards join in to get a tasty meal. The buzzards have learned that they can fly in among the bats inside the cave and knock them to the floor where they can pick them up. They knock hundreds down in this process and wreak much devastation to these little mammals.

The last two weeks and this week are prime time in the bat viewing season at The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve, so don’t miss out.

Early morning return of the bats is offered on the third Saturday in August which will be the 17th. We meet at the gate about 6:45 A.M. on that morning. This is a spectacle that most people will never see. The bats drop from heights up to ten thousand feet to reenter the cave. They enter the cave at speeds up to eighty miles per hour!

Plan now and make it a priority to get out to see this mighty sight! A little hesitation could cause you to miss this tremendous display of raw determination of these bats to exit and reenter the cave after a night’s search for food. This demonstration of agility, courage, and strength helps those viewing the scene to record it as a special memory.

The bat hotline at: 325-347-5970 is set up with the current emergence time and the ability for you to have other questions answered. See ya at the cave.....

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