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Under Water, Over Land
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Old April 28th, 2009, 01:10 PM   #1
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Bats!

At this time of year we normally think about bird migration, but North America's largest mammalian migration is now underway as well. Mexican Free-tailed Bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) winter from southern Mexico to northern Brazil and are now returning in great numbers to their summer homes. The best known of these is Carlesbad Caverns but there are over a dozen in west Texas that, like this cave, house well over a million bats (each). The largest group lives just over three miles from my home. There are many smaller colonies as well. The last clip is an attempt at time remapping and is about 20 minutes compressed into 10 seconds.

http://www.hotspot-online.net/Video/Bats02.mp4
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Old April 29th, 2009, 09:25 AM   #2
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Hi Mike
This is one of those wildlife spectacles I'd love to experience! I really like the twilight shot and looking into the cave showing just how many bats there are! wow!

You have a field issue of that footage though!
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Old April 29th, 2009, 11:15 AM   #3
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Thanks Mat. I should have mentioned that I shot this while I was surveying a property for Black-capped Vireos and didn't have my camera. I shot it on an old one chip Hi8 camera borrowed from the property owner. I suspect I must have crossed fields somehow in digitizing or compression. It's also noisy because of high gain. While I was shooting the bats were passing within an inch of my face.
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Old April 29th, 2009, 02:18 PM   #4
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Mike,


You going to go back with you camera?? I grew up in the south west and always enjoyed bats, they are rather interesting. Went to the caverns back in the early 70's, an amazing specticle. Would love to see more footage!
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Old April 29th, 2009, 09:16 PM   #5
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Has anyone been following whats happening to bats in the east, hundreds of thousands of bats are dying, many have been found outside during winter, dead, or flying around, bizarre behaviors that you would not normally see. These bats all have been found to have a white fungus around there nose and on their wings, only recently they have identified the fungus but they are unsure if the deaths are due to the fungus or if its possibly something else. Just google "white nose syndrome" if you want more info. Its very sad, I just hope it isnt something that is going to spread throughout the U.S. The east may have some insect problems just due to the fact of the massive number of bat deaths.
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