Going Batty in Palmetto Bay!

The Mexican free-tailed bat lives in the southern half of the continental United States through most of Mexico, with the largest colony of 1.5-million in Austin, TX. Palmetto Bay isn’t the first place you’d think of them, but here they are!


Palmetto Bay Councilman David Singer and Gina Terry live with 4 dogs, 2 birds, 3 cats, fish and about 100 of these bats. “They have as much right as we do to the outdoors,” says Singer. “We’re animal lovers, so now we just have dinner and a show!”

David Singer and Gina Terry lean on their pool column filled with bats

David Singer and Gina Terry lean on their pool column filled with bats

Mexican free-tailed bats roost primarily in caves. However, they also roost in buildings of any type as long as they have access to openings and dark recesses in ceilings or walls. They have chosen the columns of their backyard patio which have decorative pieces and hollow space inside.


“The expert tells us they eat more than their body weight per day in mosquitos,” explains Terry. “So we certainly like that aspect. They come out at dawn and again at dusk. We enjoy it.”


This bat species has been clocked flying at 60 miles per hour using tail winds, and at altitudes over 10,000 feet, higher than any other bat. Their other claim to fame is guano and urine, of which they produce a massive amount.

The bats have been at their house for a few years now. Despite the smell, they appear to be more than welcome. The video shows an evening inside the colony and their venture out for food at dusk.