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Bracken Webcam!

We are excited to announce BCI's new webcam at Bracken Cave Preserve! Now you can get your bat fix from the comfort of your own home.

The world's largest bat colony spends its summers in BCI’s Bracken Cave in the Texas Hill Country near San Antonio. The bat mothers and pups of this maternity colony of Mexican free-tailed bats eat tons of insects every night, including many costly farm pests. From March to November, the bats' nightly emergence from the cave takes more than three hours and includes so many bats that they show up on Doppler radar (see our Bracken Weather page). You can watch this awesome emergence live via BCI’s webcam or visit in person on one of our special Member Night tours. Our Batcam also lets you watch the RETURN, when millions of bats come back home as the sun rises – so many it’s like they're raining into the cave.

Coming soon: A second cam! Stay tuned...

Please note: During the Winter months, there will be periodical outages due to lack of power (the webcam is solar powered).

You usually have to sign up to go out to the Bracken Bat Cave to see the world's largest bat colony leave the confines of their cave home for the night, but now you can just pull up a website.

The Bracken "Bat Cam" is now live -- though there isn't much to see early in the day -- and the bats begin their exodus at about 7:30 p.m.

The colony in the Bracken Bat Cave is the largest in the world at 10 million bats, which is about seven times the size of the largest urban bat colony in the world at the Congress Street bridge in Austin, which has about 1.5 million bats.

Ashley Driskill from Bat Conservation International said the video feed doesn't match the experience of seeing them fly out in person, but it is a good way for them to share the experience with a wider audience, especially with the debate about a proposed subdivision near the bat colony.

The Bracken Bat Cave has been at the center of a debate about the proposed Crescent Hills subdivision, a plan presented by Galo Properties with close to 4,000 homes that would be located just south of the bat cave, directly in the flying path of the bats.

BCI is continuing to talk to Galo and city leaders about different options in the matter, one of which is the possibility of purchasing the land in question with private/public funds to expand the preserve land.

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