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Contact: Bridget Litten, 505.785.3024
Contact: Avelina Childress, 505.785.3124
Under the light of a nearly full moon, Carlsbad Caverns National Park will celebrate its 50th annual Bat Flight Breakfast on Saturday, July 28, from 5 to 7 a.m.
The Bat Flight Breakfast was started by park employees in 1957 as a way to encourage visitors to watch the spectacular morning return flight of the bats to Carlsbad Cavern. Unlike its evening counterpart where more than 1,000 visitors might watch as several hundred thousand Mexican free-tail bats exit Carlsbad Cavern in search of their dinner, very few people ever watch them fly back into the cave.
At night, the bats’ spiral up and exit the cave en masse, while the sunrise return to the cave normally spans several hours with the bats circling several hundred feet overhead and then diving into the cave in small clusters.
This year’s breakfast includes burritos with egg, sausage, potatoes, cheese, and salsa; juice, milk, or coffee; and whole fruit. The price of the breakfast is $7 for adults and $3 for children age 12 and under and will be served by park staff near the bat flight amphitheater. Park rangers will also provide interpretive information about the park’s bat colony and their early morning return to the cave.
Entrance to the self-guided portions of Carlsbad Cavern will be free to all Bat Flight Breakfast participants. In addition, the first 150 visitors in line for breakfast may participate in a guided lantern tour in Carlsbad Cavern via the natural entrance. A variety of ranger programs highlighting bats will also be available in the underground lunchroom on Friday and Saturday.
Bat Flight Breakfast is sponsored by the Caverns Activity Association, the Carlsbad Community Kitchen, and Cavern Supply Company.
For more information, contact Bridget Litten at 505.785.3024, Avelina Childress at 505.785.3124, or visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/cave.