Bats of the Yolo Causeway events return

People watching bats at the Yolo Basin Foundation Bat Walk. (Polly Kleinberg/Courtesy photo)

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By Corky Quirk
Special to the Express

Summer is here, and the bats are back! The maternity Mexican free-tailed bat colony under the I-80 Yolo Causeway is growing daily as they return from wherever they spent the winter. The bats return to the Causeway as the weather warms, crops grow and insect populations explode.

These amazing, winged wonders are mammals that fly. In late June each summer the females give birth to one pup. She nurses that pup for about five to six weeks and then it joins her as she flies throughout the Central Valley to consume crop pests and mosquitos. There also are males that live in the Yolo Causeway bridge, but their groupings are smaller, so they are less noticeable.

Throughout the summer Yolo Basin Foundation offers opportunities to learn more about the bats. Registration is now open and some evenings have already sold out. This year the Bat Talk and Walk events are in a hybrid format. The Talk is virtual and the Walk is in-person. Live ambassador bats are present for up close viewing at both the Talk and the Walk.

Children who are interested in bats are encouraged to join Yolo Basin Foundation for a morning of “Bats and Crafts”. They will meet live bats from our local area and have fun creating crafts and playing bat games. This special event is aimed at children, ages 3–8, especially those who are too young to stay up late to watch the bats fly. Parents must stay with their children.

Maybe you want to learn to build a bat house, or only want to hear the Talk to learn more about bats. All events and some fun fact videos about our programs and the bats can be found at

Yolo Basin Foundation offers environmental education programs for all ages related to wetlands and wildlife.

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