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:
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
- Zilker Botanical Garden
- Austin Nature and Science Center (near Zilker BG)