Back before the pandemic we were visiting our family in Austin. We all took a day trip to San Antonio one Sunday, and planned to see the bats of Austin that evening. This is a recap of that adventure.
Who would think that a winged visitor from Mexico would make such a splash in downtown Austin, Texas. Such is the story of the Free-tailed bat. These critters migrate to Austin in March and stay through November. The colony spends each day under the Congress Avenue Bridge and emerges en-mass at sunset. This daily event has become a famous local attraction in Austin.
We planned to see the bats after a day in San Antonio. Because it was a Sunday, free street parking was available if you could find it. A ten dollar garage was well worth the cost. When we got there I needed a restroom and found one at a great restaurant a block away. The restaurant staff where we had supper knew exactly what time the bats would emerge. After supper we walked the two blocks to the bridge. Because it was Sunday the crowds were not large and we walked right up to the bridge rail for a great view.
A viewing deck was on the river bank for a look up at the bridge. A wide variety of tour boats, canoes and kayaks were in place on the water of Lady Bird Lake waiting to see the show. And what a show it was! The first bats started to fly about 10 minutes before sunset. It didn’t take long for hundreds of thousands of bats to fly out from under the bridge. The sky was filled with masses of bats! It looked like they were flying along the river. Before the Congress Avenue Bridge was built where did the colony of bats spend daylight hours?
2 thoughts on “Austin’s Congress Avenue Bridge and 1.5 million bats”
In the downtown warehouses and the UT football stadium bleachers primarily, but they roosted in parks and caves in the area also.
Makes sense. The bridge came after the UT stadium then it sounds like. Thanks for the response.
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