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Bat Patrol

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Under Their Wings

Under Their Wings
Photograph by Merlin Tuttle

Massed in a maternity colony, some ten million female Mexican freetails raise their pups, born in June, in Ney Cave. Nearly all the bats that arrive in Texas are pregnant females with ravenous appetites. To feed themselves and produce milk for their young, females must eat up to 70 percent of their body weight in insects each night. Most do so during two feeding periods, the first from dusk to around midnight, when they return to their cave. They leave to feed again a few hours later, returning at dawn.

Camera: F1 Canon
Film Type: Kodachrome 64
Lens: 100mm, F4 macro
Speed and F-Stop: f/8
Weather Conditions: Not recorded
Time of Day: Not recorded
Lighting Techniques: The camera was on a tripod with two Vivitar 283 flashes on the side—one about 3/4 stop brighter than the other.

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