Watch 250,000 Bats Fly Out of a Colorado Mine
Bats flying out of the abandoned Orient Mine in the San Luis Valley. An awesome, or for some, an incredibly frightening sight.
What if I told you the mine is home to a colony of 250,000 migratory Mexican free-tailed bats who fly out of the mine each evening to feed. The out flight each day takes from 10 to 15 minutes. There's not really a word to describe it. Don't worry though, these bats eat insects, not humans.
The abandoned iron mine is the largest northernmost bachelor colony in North America and it's right here in Colorado. These bats are yet another example of something that is uniquely Colorado.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) biologist April Estep, Southwest Region education specialist Cathy Brons, and about a dozen teachers involved in the Teaching Environmental Science Naturally (T.E.N) class got a first-hand look and the chance to help count the number of bats, collect data, and view an Echometer app that identifies individual bat acoustic calls.
The teachers earn continuing education credit for the T.E.N classes. CPW officials look to the teachers to take their experiences back to the classroom and use them to get students excited about environmental science.