Last year upon visiting Bracken Cave located deep within the heart of the Texas Hill Country, I had the opportunity to witness the mass exodus of millions of Mexican Free-Tailed Bats as they departed the cave on their nightly excursions for food. It was truly one of those amazing moments I will not soon forget, as this is one of the largest mammal concentrations on Planet Earth, and it is right in the state I call home.
|Mexican Free-Tailed Bats 2015|
Needless to say, I must have taken several hundred images over the time-span of an hour or so, and since this was the first time I had ever attempted to photograph Bats in flight, there was a learning curve involved simply to get the technical aspects of getting a focused image correct without the use of a flash.....yea, “NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY” allowed, as that could disorient the Bats.
Eventually, I was able to figure out a viable means to capture some amazing images before the exodus was finally complete. Later that evening upon close review of all of my taken images, I posted a few of the better ones to Facebook and various other social media sites as I typically do, and called it a evening.
Within a few days thereafter I was contacted by a representative from Bat Conservation International (BCI) interested in using some of my posted images, and from there the ball started rolling whereas after several month of discussion, I have officially accepted the opportunity to be a “Contributing Photographer” for this great organization in hopes that we can work together on a few more special projects in 2016 and beyond that bring attention to the conservation efforts that are needed to protect Bats species across the world over.
For those unfamiliar with BCI, take a moment and check them out at www.BATCON.org
Dennis Stewart /Nature’s Realm Wildlife Photography