1.5 Million Mexican Free Tailed Bats in Austin tEXAS
One of the most popular things to do in Austin during the summer is watch the sunset bat show from Congree avenue bridge. If you don't jump on a sunset cruise or take an evening kayak/SUP tour, it's actually free! Can't beat that.
THREE WAYS TO SEE THE BAT SHOW
Walk to Congress Ave. Bridge and Stand on bridge
Take a sunset/bat boat cruise with capitol cruises
Join a kayak/SUP sunset bat tour
AUSTIN IS HOME TO 1.5 MILLION FREE TAILED BATS
Did you know Austin Texas is home to 1.5 million Mexican Free Tailed Bats. Every evening during the summer, thousands of visitors find themselves on the Congress Avenue Bridge waiting to see the spectacular bat show. Since they are nocturnal, the bats head out around sunset to feed for the night and don't back back until the morning. As they exit the bridge, where they inhabit, 1.5 million of them come out together following each other into the sunset. Its pretty amazing, and it looks a cloud of smoke. This is a nature must see in Austin and is free if you watch it from the bridge
Why is the Bat show only during the sumMer?
During the winter months, the bats migrate back to Mexico where the climate is a bit warmer. They usually stay in Mexico for the winter and head back Austin in March. The best time to see them in Austin is from March-October. We've started to see some bats actually stay all year as they acclimate to weather. Austin can have warmers winters and might have an influence on that.
Why do they live under the congress bridge
The congress ave bridge was one the first bridges built in Austin Texas to connect the north and south parts of downtown. It wasn't util 1980 when the city remodeled the bridge and constructed it to be hollow. Austin was home to the migration of bats long before the bridge, but the hollow type construction acted like te perfect cave. The slits in the Congress Ave bridge also allowed the bats to enter and exit easily all while being protected from predators. Over the years the population grew and now we have 1.5 million bats living inside under the bridge.
FUN FACTS ABOUT THE MEXICAN FREE TAILED BATS
Around 100,000 visitors come to Austin and witness the bats.
The bats bats can eat 20,000 pounds of insects each night.
The bats follow each other using sonar.
Throughout their flight, they never top flapping their wings.
Predators include birds, possums, raccoons, owls, and snakes.