Crowd gathers for bat procession.
Crowd gathers for bat procession.

World's Largest Urban Bat Colony

Field review by the editors.

Austin, Texas

Crowds gather nightly to watch 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats shoot out from under the Congress Avenue Bridge. Standing atop the bridge, or down below (wear a hat), visitors provide condemned mosquitoes a last meal while waiting for the bats to make their entrance.

Two thumbs up to the Austin American-Statesman for allowing the use of their parking lot, and their grass to hang out on.

Nightwing.

Across Congress Street from the Statesman stands a sculpture, "Nightwing," that celebrates the bat.

Another convenient-for-tourists (but smaller) bat colony is reported 15 miles north of Austin, underneath the I-35 underpass at McNeil Road, Round Rock. Again, wear a hat.

World's Largest Urban Bat Colony

Address:
Congress Ave., Austin, TX
Directions:
Congress Avenue Bridge on Town Lake, Austin American-Statesman parking lot on the southeast side, free parking to the public after 6 pm.
Hours:
Bats take wing just before dark, usually -- March through November.
Admission:
Free.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

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