Have you ever wanted to see 1.5M bats? Now you can! Congress Bridge in Austin, TX is the home of an enormous bat colony.
Every summer night you can join hundreds of others to watch this unreal event. According to Bat Conversation International, the bats unexpectedly moved in to the crevices of Congress Avenue Bridge in 1980. The bat colony made headlines, but the wonderful Austin community has come to embrace these gentle and sophisticated animals. The best months to witness the bats are April through October.
There are quite a few places to stop and view the bats emerging from under the bridge. Along the roadside of Congress Avenue bridge is probably one of the best places to see them (because you can watch more of their flight path), but it does fill up fast. My pictures and video are from the grassy area just below the bridge.
We actually parked at a business park down the trail from the blue dot in the map above. We parked about where you see the “Colorado River” text and lined trees, then followed the riverside trail to the bridge.
Below is the business park where you can park without a far walk to the open grass area.
The bats tend to arrive around 8:30pm, but it really depends on the time of sunset. You’ll start to hear bats chattering before they fly out.
Plenty of room to bring the kids and let them run while you wait for the show. Bring a football, frisbee or anything else. Come early to make sure you get the exact spot you want.
The bridge viewing area does fill up fast. Plan on coming at least 30 minutes early to get your preferred location. Benefits of being below the bridge is the wide open grass area. Bring some treats, a blanket or even a chair. Be careful — it does have quite the pungent smell down here. 🙂
One of the coolest experiences I’ve had. I’ve seen (and smelled) and few bats in my lifetime, but watching thousands upon thousands fly in to the sky was impressive.
The stream of bats seemed never ending! So cool! Seeing the bats in Austin, TX is a must for anyone in the area.
Where: The Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge | Austin, TX
When: After dusk, from April to October
Parking: Paid parking available at the Austin American-Statesman, 305 S. Congress Ave.
More Information: Austin bats