Congress Bridge Bats
One of things on every Austin, TX visit list is a trip to see over 1 million bats leave their home under the Congress Street bridge for their evening dinner run.
Bat experts note that the bats come out between 30 minutes prior to and 30 minutes after dusk, which for us was 8:13 pm. We dutifully arrived 2 hours ahead of time (:-)) to ensure we had a good position on the bridge.
As luck would have it, though, the bats’ actual behavior also is regulated by the humidity (high is good) and how hungry they are. Our visit took place on a low humidity day, the day after an apparent ‘all you can eat’ smorgasbord, and by 9:00 pm, a full 45 minutes after dark, the little guys were finally coming out, but in a small stream, not the all-at-once departure that makes such a show.
Click here for a YouTube video of what normally takes place.
Bat Viewing Tips
The flight is best seen from below the bridge so you can see them against the lighter sky. If you are on the bridge, stand adjacent to a light pole, which will illuminate the little guys against the dark river below.