The Yolo Basin Foundation released the new dates for Bat Walks and Talks on the Yolo Basin Wildlife Area. You must buy tickets in advance and the dates can fill up fast. If you want to see this fascinating phenomenon of the bats flying out from underneath the Yolo Causeway to feast on night insects, and learn how bats benefit us, then sign up now. $12 per adult
From the website: Following a 45 minute indoor presentation on bat natural history, the group will carpool out to the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area to watch the “flyout” of the largest colony of Mexican free-tailed bats in California. The bats emerge in long ribbons as they head out to hunt for insects for the night. To get to the viewing site, the group will caravan through wetlands and rice fields to an area not open to the public.
The whole experience takes about 3 hours. This is a family friendly event! There is a small amount of walking. Those in wheelchairs or unable to walk may view the bats by car. Please let us know if you have special needs.
On a bright and beautiful day in April I drove out to the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area to see the birds. There are many, many more birds in winter. In April, most have migrated north to their nesting grounds where they will raise another generation. There are still many, many birds to see including red wing blackbirds, egrets, Swainson hawks, among others.
I made this little video to give you a taste:
The Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area is just off Interstate 80 at the E. Chiles Road exit (by the fruitstand). You may also recognize it as the place where Davis youth write messages in stone on the side of the levee.
You can download this map from the Yolo Basin Foundation’s website to find your way through the Bypass: http://www.yolobasin.org/images/100271%20YBF%20Map%20Hunting.pdf
There are picnic tables and port-a-potties at each of the parking lots. If you do picnic, please keep the refuge tidy.
There is no entry fee for enjoying the Wildlife Area, however, if you enjoy birding or picnicking, consider a donation to the Yolo Basin Foundation at http://www.yolobasin.org.
Also, you are in a floodplain that serves as the release valve for Sacramento’s flood protection. So if you are going to see the birds after a big storm or while it is raining, the area may be closed.