Bracken Cave

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  • Info Bracken Cave is the summer home to the largest colony of bats in the world. more...
  • Despite its protected nature, Bracken Cave has been featured in the media several times since its discovery.
  • Bracken Cave, near Natural Bridge Caverns is home to one of two large bat colonies in Texas.
  • The bats that inhabit Bracken Cave are a small species called Mexican free-tailed bats.
  • It is endemic to Texas in the United States, where it is known from Bracken Cave in Bexar County.
  • While the Bracken Cave bat roost is often estimated at 20 million, the true number of bats is unknown due to unreliable counting methods.
  • Bracken Cave is found near the town and is notable for housing the largest collection of Mexican free-tailed bats in the world, numbering 20 million in habitation during spring migration.
  • The largest colony of these inhabits Bracken Cave near San Antonio, while the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin is the summer home for over half a million (they winter in Mexico) and is the largest bat colony anywhere in an urban area.
  • An animal behavior expert named Leonard Ireland, who researched the bats at Bracken Cave in the 1960s and 1970s, once said the clouds of bats emerging from the cave were up to "30 miles long and 20 miles wide."
  • From March to October, the bats at Bracken Cave emerge between 6 and 8 p.m. flying southeast on a collision course with bugs such as cotton bollworth moths and army cut-worm moths being pushed away from crops southwest by winds.