Hundreds of hopeful bat gazers perched themselves on and around the Camden Street bridge in downtown San Antonio on Tuesday night, but the bats were a no show.
Unfortunately, the 50,000 Mexican free-tail bats roosting underneath the Museum Reach bridge won’t be emerging until much later in the evening this season – 10 or 10:30 p.m., estimates some event organizers. The event, which started at 7:30 p.m., lasted until about 9 p.m. – after the bats have historically emerged from the bridge. It’s also when the bridge is opened back up for vehicular traffic.
The reason behind the bats’ tardiness involves the record amount of rain that has hit Texas this year, producing plenty of bugs to eat. This allows the bats to wait until after sunset to hunt for tasty insects. Even though the bats were nowhere to be found, the event served its purpose of educating hundreds of citizens about our neighbors from the south.
This was the first of three educational events put on by the San Antonio River Authority with the help of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Bat Conservation International. Cheesy Janes sold food and beverages while free games and interactive educational opportunities were available for children of all ages.
The show must go on, according to organizers, every Tuesday through Aug. 11. when the Bat Loco Bash is set for 6-9 p.m. to close out the series with live music, booths, and more.
I learned three things that I didn’t know before this event:
1. Bat’s aren’t blind. More than 1,300 species of bats exist, none of which are naturally blind. They actually have excellent eyesight.
2. Contrary to popular belief, Bat’s really aren’t a fan of terrorizing people’s hair.
3. Bat’s do not get rabies with greater frequency than other mammals.
Parking for the event series is available at the Hwy. 281 underpass on Newell St. and Avenue A.
You can read more about the Bat Loco event series here. Even without the fuzzy, flying mammals, you can still learn a ton about them, eat a burger, and you might even catch a surprise early flight.
*Featured/top Image: The crowd listens to presentations about bats on the Camden Street bridge. Photo by Scott Ball.