Mason County News
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Bat Cave Report
Wednesday, July 27, 2011 • Posted July 27, 2011

All of the baby bats (pups) are flying with a fair amount of skill now. They will be strong enough to return to Mexico once a significant cold front hits the area. It appears that some of the visiting mothers and their young have already headed back to their own homes to live until their return to Mexico. Numbers will slowly continue to dwindle during the next week or so as this exodus takes place. As this happens, the bats will start coming out later and later until just a very few are able be seen before darkness envelops the emergence. BUT, right now the pups and their moms are emerging right at SIX P.M.!! I have had numerous calls questioning the time......yes, it really is right at 6 P.M. when the bats head out for the evening.Just like at the beginning of the season in May, emergences in the latter part of the season will also prove to be right at dusk. When our peak number of visiting females join us around June 15th to give birth to their young, then the emergences start out earlier and earlier until they come out even as we are opening the gate to The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve at 6 P.M.. Viewers sometimes arrive after eight o’clock at this time of the year and are able to view part of the emergence, but it is akin to going to the movies that start at seven o’clock but arrive during the final two or three minutes. A person could honestly say that they had gone to the movies, but they certainly had not gotten the full appreciation for the show due to their late arrival. The bat hotline is set up for persons desiring to visit The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve and have an idea when the bats leave that particular night. We do recommend that anyone planning a visit to the emergence of the bats check the message for current times and weather updates. The weather is also an important factor when planning your visit. If it is raining we do not open for the night. We have had only one night this season that rain proved to be a factor. We also keep tabs on any rainfall upstream that would cause any problems as it moves down into our area. If we receive information on a flashflood from the weather service, we also close for the evening even though there may not be a cloud in the sky over the Preserve.Hurry on out to visit this season. We will soon be seeing later and later emergence times and the viewing time will quickly become shorter and shorter as the evenings get dark earlier and earlier. Plan it...and do it!! See ya at the cave!!

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