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Archive 2012 · To the Bat Cave (24)
  
 
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · To the Bat Cave (24)


I appreciate the kind remarks made on my image of a Swainson's Hawk hunting Bats in my last post - so I thought I'd share a more in-depth look at this amazing event. Pardon the high image count...I lost control

Located on the private Armendaris ranch in New Mexico, the caves are actually lava tubes formed from an ancient volcano that erupted some 700,000 years ago, and coincidentally, nearly identical in timing to the volcanic eruptions that defined the Serengeti in Tanzania (my other favorite place)

While their are several different species here, the population is predominately Mexican Free-tailed Bats - which migrate up from Mexico. Though the total biomass fluctuates greatly, it is generally in the millions! From late May to the end of July they are raising their young, and in August the young start to fly - and that's when it gets really interesting. The Swainson's Hawks (and Peregrin Falcons) have been congregating here to feed on the Bats for centuries, much the same way Bears congregate to Salmon streams. At it peak this past August I counted over 75 Swainson's hunting at the same time.

So, first you have to get to the cave, and that entails 35 miles of bumps and dust after you leave the pavement - and I thought I'd show a few more pics of critters to be seen along the way....then the Bat show.

Thanks for looking - and please offer any critique you may have....I'm trying to improve.

Jim

Edited on Aug 03, 2013 at 10:26 AM · View previous versions



Nov 15, 2012 at 09:08 AM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · To the Bat Cave (24)


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Edited on Aug 03, 2013 at 10:26 AM · View previous versions



Nov 15, 2012 at 09:15 AM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · To the Bat Cave (24)


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Edited on Aug 03, 2013 at 10:25 AM · View previous versions



Nov 15, 2012 at 09:19 AM
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · To the Bat Cave (24)


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Edited on Aug 03, 2013 at 10:24 AM · View previous versions



Nov 15, 2012 at 09:25 AM
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · To the Bat Cave (24)


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Edited on Aug 03, 2013 at 10:25 AM · View previous versions



Nov 15, 2012 at 09:30 AM
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · To the Bat Cave (24)


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Edited on Aug 03, 2013 at 10:23 AM · View previous versions



Nov 15, 2012 at 09:36 AM
eyelaser
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · To the Bat Cave (24)


Jim, these are remarkable! Truly one of nature's great spectacles that gets very little play because bats are generally unloved at best and reviled by most. I am pretty certain this forum has never seen anything like this and so thanks for sharing these! The critters on the way are pretty cool as well.
Some days I feel like I was around when those volcanic eruptions took place
Eric



Nov 15, 2012 at 12:57 PM
K mueller
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · To the Bat Cave (24)


These are really great! I really like the silhouettes - Kyle



Nov 15, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Chris Schlaf
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · To the Bat Cave (24)


Very enjoyable set


Nov 15, 2012 at 01:46 PM
big country
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · To the Bat Cave (24)


awesome photos! is this place open to the public? i think your last rattlesnake pic is a red diamondback, not a western diamondback.


Nov 15, 2012 at 01:50 PM
 

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KCollett
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · To the Bat Cave (24)


Superb set! What a cool place to visit. Thanks for posting these. Very neat indeed, with the last image being killer (so to speak).


Nov 15, 2012 at 01:51 PM
emtanner
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · To the Bat Cave (24)


Wonerful set! Enjoyed veiwing everyone

Emily



Nov 15, 2012 at 02:06 PM
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · To the Bat Cave (24)


This is truly a great set of photos. The documentary is fantastic as well. It's stuff like this that keeps many of us going out with our cameras, hoping to find something that hasn't been overshot and oversold. Fantastic!


Nov 15, 2012 at 02:29 PM
jodelak
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · To the Bat Cave (24)


Superb images James! I am a bird guy but to me, the sunset shot is my favorite in this series, I am a melodramatic bird guy Love the bat hunting as well, really excellent action shots. You are blessed to have these opportunities and thanks for sharing.


Nov 15, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Rob Tillyer
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · To the Bat Cave (24)


Awesome set James, I was hoping you would give us more bats. What a cool place to go and you documented it so well.

Rob



Nov 15, 2012 at 03:02 PM
surfnron
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · To the Bat Cave (24)


Some great shots documenting the hunt Jim. The rest are very nice too ~ Ron


Nov 15, 2012 at 04:37 PM
fyffem
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · To the Bat Cave (24)


Wow.


Nov 15, 2012 at 05:13 PM
codroy
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · To the Bat Cave (24)


Superb images. Loved the silhouettes.


Nov 15, 2012 at 06:09 PM
hayath
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · To the Bat Cave (24)


A fitting continuation
Yet again the silhouettes stand out, with the last one being the cherry



Nov 15, 2012 at 07:41 PM
kmunroe
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · To the Bat Cave (24)


an excellent set James.. i like the silhouettes also


Nov 15, 2012 at 08:17 PM
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