It’s Thursday, August 16, 2018 in Austin, Texas
Austin is Bat Crazy About Bats
From spring until October, the Congress Avenue bridge in downtown Austin is home to about 750,000 Mexican free-tailed bats, with that population doubling to 1,500,000 once the pregnant females give birth.
It wasn’t until 1980 that the bats began to use the bridge as home base, as the openings under the bridge are the ideal place to “hang out.”
Each night around sunset, the bats will leave the bridge, heading out to feast on 10,000 to 30,000 pounds of insects. That is hell of a lot of bugs. These guys - everyone of them - deserve a tiny gold medal from the city of Austin for their contribution to reducing the mosquito population. Everybody here at Pallasart agrees about that.
Although the best place to view the cloud of black is from the bridge itself, there are a few other options available as well. The Austin American-Statesman public viewing area on the southeast end of Congress Avenue, Cruises on Lady Bird Lake and watching the bats from the Trio Restaurant’s patio are also some ways to safely watch the bats.
Austin bats are mostly Mexican free-tailed bats; they are also known as the Brazilian free-tailed bat and the Austonian bridge bat. According to Wikipedia, the bats are about nine centimeters long, and they weigh about 0.43 ounce – with their tail being about half their length. With wide ears, condensed muzzles, and elongated and narrow wings, you might recognize these bats from a bottle of Bacardi rum.
Living in Mexico and Southern Texas over the winter, the bats will mate and then the females will migrate to Austin in the spring. Once the bats give birth, they will nurse their young daily – the young pups will grow and become fully independent by four to seven weeks.
As we have already stated, bats are an excellent mosquito deterrent - well, really they are mosquito eating machines, and these little devils are their prime source of meal. If you would like to tempt some bats to live at your home, you might think about creating a bat house. Made out of wood and painted at the top with black paint (so the bats can choose which temperature they like), these homes are fairly easy to make. However, building a bat house isn’t a guarantee that you’ll end up with a bat colony – as they are extremely selective. They are true Austinites in that regard - we human citizens can be very picky in where we choose to bed down, too.
Bats have been long associated with vampires; the fact of the matter is that only three of one thousand specifies of bats actually drink blood. One feeds on livestock, the other feeds on birds. Another popular myth is that bats are blind – completely untrue. Bats can actually see extremely well, according to Merlin Tuttle, founder and president of Bat Conservation International. So you can drop "blind as a bat" from your vocabulary!
Like other mammals, bats can carry rabies. It is estimated that one half of one percent of bats may contract rabies. You should never pick up a bat from the ground or touch a bat with unprotected hands. Infected bats often fall to the ground when they become too sick to fly. Animal control should be called to dispose of any bat on the ground. Any person touching a downed bat should seek immediate medical attention, as rabies is considered incurable after the onset of symptoms.
Have any bat experiences to share? Comment below...
big breakthrough in color research
Scientists have discovered the favorite Viking colors and now you can use them in your website!
be prepared - choose wisely
Here are some helpful hints and direction on the skills and knowledge your web designer should have.
save as many as you can!
With Austin making headlines and ending up on virtually every "Top 10 Best City for..." lists -- we now have about 150 people moving here daily!! We figured we should warn potential new residents of the hidden dangers of moving to Austin.
How I discovered my ancestor Pocahontas and her Sullivan family descendants of Northern Virginia using the web - a genealogy posting by Bob Atchison.
As you have probably read it has been extensively reported that Golden Gate Killer was found using data from GEDmatch. It's an amazing story.
Hummingbird Farms, the famous maker of body lotions seen on QVC , upgrades website with huge new product images, which increases sales
Here are some images showing my favorite semi-precious stone animals with jeweled eyes from my collection and stories of the stones and where they come from.
When users install or upgrade to Windows 10, "display scaling" may be turned on "by default" to either 125% or 150% resulting in blurriness when viewing websites or applications on certain monitors.
Bob Atchison's guide to find rare, antique and cabbagey roses to order online. Here you'll find the best sources with roses I especially love and recommend for your garden.
If you are a realtor or real estate broker, you need a website to advertise your business and attract new clients. Get clients to stay on your website by providing access to Multiple Listing Service (MLS) real estate listings.
Is Scotty Bowers, the famous Hollywood pimp telling the truth about Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn being gay? Here's a confirming story...
The unspoken fear all web designers dread - you've been asked to use cursive fonts! There is no escape... yes, it has happened to me, Bob Atchison, many times and I have the battle scars to prove it. Here are some cursive fonts I actually like.