Hundreds of thousands of bats swarm California sky

One of the many bats who take flight every night in California.

CBS Sacramento

YOLO COUNTY -- It is quite the sight.

Hundreds of thousands of bats take a daily flight from a highway underpass into the California night sky searching for food, reports CBS Sacramento. The underpass acts as a makeshift bat cave for more than 250,000 bats.

The mass flight of bats is called a batnado and can only be seen during the summer months, reports CBS Sacramento. But experts say bat season came early this year.

Corky Quirk, affectionately known as The Bat Lady, says the Mexican freetail bats call the underpass home during the summer in Sacramento. Quirk explains that they hang out because of nearby food from rice fields that have lots of insects.

"They arrive as our weather changes and our insect load gets high," she said. "This time of year we have all the adults and the juveniles out there hunting."

Every evening just before dark, they can be seen heading out for the hunt.

Bats taking flight in California.
CBS Sacramento

"Some of these bats are going to go one to two miles high hunting migrating moths," Quirk said.

Because of the drought many of the pups have been born two weeks earlier than usual, Quirk explained to CBS Sacramento. Lack of water has proven to be problematic for some.

"I'm getting more calls this year about people scooping bats out of their swimming pools, and I think it's because bats are thirsty and they are looking for water," she said.

But for those hoping to catch sight of batnado, Quirk says, there's still enough food to keep the bats buzzing every evening, at least this year.

CBS Sacramento reports that the bats should start heading south in search of warmer weather around mid-September.