Statesman Bat Observation Center, Austin, Texas, USA

The Congress Avenue Bridge bats are now a great tourist attraction, drawing thousands of visitors each year. You can safely watch the bats from the Statesman Bat Observation Center.

Every year during March and April Mexican free-tailed bats migrate to Austin from the south and make their home under the Congress Avenue Bridge. The bridge’s crevices make safe hiding places for the bats, who are mostly pregnant females. Female bats each have one baby, called a pup.

Bat Flight the Mexican Free-Tailed Bat depart Congress Avenue Bridge, Austin Each night at dusk. Huge crowds gather near the bridge to watch the bats take their nightly flight to find food. As the pups grow they join their mothers on the nightly food flights. When the population peaks, there may be as many as 1.6 million bats taking flight and it can take up to forty-five minutes for them all to fly from the bridge.

The bats took residence under the bridge after it was renovated. Initially, Austinites were not too sure if they liked bats for such close neighbors, but after fears of rabies and other diseases were alleviated by assurances from wildlife experts, most Austin residents welcome the bats.

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