This week I’m in Austin, Texas attending a conference on Computer-Human Interaction, a place where we speak to each other in learned tones while trying to work out where the future of computers and people will go.
And while that’s interesting, something else has grabbed my attention this week.
As you probably know, Austin has a remarkable bat colony that lives under one of the bridges in the middle of town. Every evening at dusk, these bats pour out of the bridge substructure and into the sky to begin searching for insects. They go on insect search-and-consume missions, collectively eating something like 10 tons of bugs each night.
In talking with people at the bridge, a couple of questions kept coming up. Can you answer these search challenges and help us understand a bit more about these bats?
1. What kind of bats are we seeing?
2. What kind of bat is the most common bat in Texas?
3. When these bats migrate, where do they go? (We know they go somewhere south into Mexico, but can you tell me which states they visit for the winter?)
Searching with my echolocation…