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1.5 million bats left hungrier by historic Texas drought

Charlie L. Harper / Reuters

Spectators gather by the water near the Congress Street bridge in downtown Austin, Texas, on Tuesday, July 27, to watch the bats make their nightly flight for food. The largest urban bat colony in the world lives below a bridge in Austin. The drought has killed off crops in Texas, and that in turn has killed off those delicious pests the Mexican free-tailed bats consider dinner.

Charlie L. Harper / Reuters

Each night the bats stream from under a bridge by the hundreds of thousands in a black cloud so large that it shows up on local weather radar.

Charlie L. Harper / Reuters

One of some 1.5 million bats emerges from below the Congress Street Bridge near downtown Austin on Wednesday.

 Reuters reports:

AUSTIN, Texas — There are 1.5 million bats living under a bridge in downtown Austin, and a historic Texas drought is making them hungrier than ever.

That's bad news for the bats in the world's largest urban bat colony. But it is good news for the humans who gather each evening just a few blocks from the state Capitol building to watch their spectacular nightly trips into the nearby Hill Country to find food. Continue reading.