Things are truly batty along U.S. border with Mexico – and we’re not talking about the immigration debate.
When night falls, thousands of the flying mammals take to the sky along the border in Texas.
Due to unseasonably warm weather in the region, large groups of bats are taking to the sky to hunt for bugs in the night air – registering on radar in much the same way that rainstorms appear on Doppler.
At 5:45 p.m. on Sunday, a cloud of bats popped up on U.S. Air Force radar above the cave-dotted savanna of the Edwards Plateau. The swarm appears on the radar image as a massive green and blue blob.
Fifteen minutes later, another colony of bats emerged into the night sky and appeared onscreen as an "aquamarine crescent moon south of Carta Valley," Texas, CityLab reported.
Texas, especially around Austin and San Antonio, has become a favorite hunting ground for bats. The largest colony on the planet takes up residence in Bracken Cave near San Antonio every spring. It includes about 20 million bats, which makes it arguably the largest accumulation of mammals in the world.
The bats that hide under Austin’s bridges have become famous around the city – as well as being the bane of pilots flying into the city’s airport.
While these furry fliers may seem like a nuisance to some, they help keep the populations of mosquitos and other bugs at manageable levels.
The bats have gotten a hand from local conservationists who helped cancel plans for a local housing development because the light and construction would disrupt the hungry hordes. Also who wants to have to worry about being surrounded by thousands of bats when you take the dog out at night.
"We would have had hundreds of bats congregating on the porches, around street lights, around swimming pools." Bat Conservation International executive director Andy Walker told the Mother Nature Network. "Baby bats that were either resting or sick, or older bats that were sick, might be found by family pets and brought into houses."