NatureSeek Blog

Austin Bats June 12, 2011

If you’ve never seen the bats that emerge from under the Congress Avenue bridge in Austin, you are missing out. Every evening at dusk, between 750,000 to 1.5 million mexican free-tailed bats emerge from grooves that run the length of the bridge to feast on 10,000 to 30,000 pounds of insects. And if you’ve ever experienced a summer in Texas, this fact alone is enough to warrant bat conservation.

Bat Conservation International keeps a current schedule of emergence times for the Congress Avenue bridge here. And don’t worry if you get there a little early, you can always go down to the park below and listen to them squeaking – just be careful when you look up.

We’ve found the best spot to watch the bats as they exit the bridge is the grassy area beneath the TGI Friday’s in the Radisson hotel downtown. Get there early for the primo spots.

I’ve posted a video that gives a good overview about the colony that inhabits the bridge.

Other nature opportunities in Austin include:

My particular favorite is the Austin Nature and Science Center. It is a little hidden gem that we kind of just stumbled across while walking through Zilker Park near downtown Austin. It’s a wildlife rehabilitation and education center that deals with urban wildlife issues. When we were there they had a coyote, gray fox, bobcat and some really cool raptors. It is a wonderful organization and if you get the chance to stop by there, please make sure to drop some cash in their donation box.
Here’s a map of the places listed above

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