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Bat Population in Downtown Sacramento Continues to Grow

SACRAMENTO -- Just after sunset, above the chatter of street life in downtown Sacramento, you might hear chatter from an entirely different life-form altogether.

"I'd say the majority don't realize it. They walk down the street at night,  maybe they think it's birds," said Corky Quirk, founder of NorCal Bats.

Quirk showed FOX40 what's called a Mexican Freetail.

"He has this little tail here," Quirk said.

It's this species that has made itself at home in here in downtown Sacramento, a growing colony that puts on a nightly show.

"Yeah. It's a little like Gotham," Quirk said.

They come pouring out from under eaves or from between old buildings.

Evan Weathers of Sacramento likes to watch them.
"Yeah. I usually do about this time of night if I get a break," he said.

They're here to feast on flying bugs. They are especially partial to moths. These aren't the blood sucking monsters of myth. But most people are oblivious to them anyway.

"How do you feel about bats?" FOX40 asked Alex Amador.

"Baths? You know I like showers more," Amador responded.

But that's OK. In this case, what you don't know can't hurt you.

Quirk says these bats are usually only dangerous when they are sick, not flying but lying on the ground.

"If one was to pick up a bat barehanded, the likelihood of getting it is pretty high," Quirk said.

But high above you, putting on an aerial display with their long, webbed wings and echo location, they are more like an entertaining housemate than anything else.

Oh and their song? That's just the bats, chatting, maybe talking to each other about how strange we look to them.