• Loraine Nicole Meek

So, about those Mexican Free-Tailed Bats...

Updated: Aug 9, 2019

As a family of animal lovers, we're always up for learning about literally anything animal-related! When we found out there was an opportunity to not only learn about bats, but to observe them in the wild, we were pretty excited! If you enjoy a nice mix of education and adventure, then the Yolo Basin Foundation Bat Talk & Walk event is perfect for you! This event starts with a 45 minute educational presentation at their home base and then moves to the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area for the bat viewing. This presentation is far from dull! We got to meet live bats, watch interesting videos and slides, and for the little ones, small toys were handed out to keep little hands busy. Our whole tribe was engaged and excited!

This little guy hung out with us in the classroom for a bit!

Much of the presentation focused on the Mexican Free-tailed bat, which is the species of bat we would later be viewing as they emerge from the bypass. These are migratory bats that prey mostly on moths and live in colonies.

The kids came up with some great questions along the way! I loved how interested and engaged they were!

After the presentation, everyone caravanned to the wildlife area. The drive was bumpy and fun for the kids (but manageable for any vehicle) and really pretty! We passed through rice fields to a spot that is not accessible to the public.

We totally pretended we were heading through the outback. ;)

Once we reached the bypass, there was a very short walk to the place where we were stationed for the rest of the evening. That's where we waited for the bats to emerge in 2-3 ribbons! It was an amazing sight! Make sure to wear layers incase it gets cool as the sun sets. The program runs from June through September, so it shouldn't be too cold to enjoy. It is also possible to watch the bats from your vehicle, for those who are unable to walk to the viewing area.

Watching the sun set during this adventure adds even more pizazz! It was quite lovely.

One of our favorite things about the viewing was that this awesome device was handed around amongst the guests while the bats emerged. It actually picks up the sound of the bats using their echolocation! This made for such a unique experience!

Lana was so excited to hear the little clicks when it was her turn to use this device!

The entire experience is about three hours long. If you have little ones, camping chairs would probably be a good idea. I would recommend this adventure to anyone! It is educational, family-friendly, inexpensive (kids were free!), and fun! If you're interested in registering, be sure to do so early on in the year. The event is very popular and sells out quickly! You can find all the information and purchase your tickets here!

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