FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions about Austin’s Famous Congress Avenue Bridge Bats!

 

How many bats fly out in Austin

1.5 million bats — The Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge, located in the heart of downtown Austin, hosts the largest urban bat colony in the world, estimated at 1.5 million bats.

 

Where can you eat and watch the bats in Austin?

The LINE Austin Hotel or Live Oak Bar at Four Seasons Austin (located at 98 San Jacinto Blvd., Austin, Texas, 78701) is a top choice for anyone looking for a great bat-watching experience while enjoying delicious food and drinks. Live Oak Bar’s outdoor patio offers stunning views of the Congress Avenue Bridge and the emerging bat colony.

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Where do you park to watch the bats in Austin?

Go to the Austin Bat Tours Parking Guide for directions and addresses. The Vic Mathias Shores have a free parking lot for the early birds. You will find them at 900 Riverside Drive… or by following this link!

Alternatively, South Congress Avenue also offers free parking. The address is 834 S Congress Avenue and it is relatively close to the bridge where the bats proliferate.

Located a block north of the bridge you will find Cesar Chavez street, where parking is free between the hours of 6pm and 12am. A word of caution though because parts of this street are metered, so always double check when you choose your space.
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What time of year do the bats come out in Austin?

The bats only call Austin home for a portion of the year from spring to late fall. The colony will typically begin to appear in late March and stay until temperatures start to drop around September/October.

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Where is the best place to watch the bats at the Congress Avenue Bridge

The first major bat column to emerge normally exits along the river edge at the southeast end of the bridge, with the column heading east along the river. Because this is where bats are first seen, visitors tend to congregate there for viewing.
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Where do the Austin bats go at night?

It’s common knowledge that bats are mostly nocturnal creatures that take late evening and nightly flights eastward as the sunsets. This is the case for the nearly 2 million bats in Austin, Texas. They fly eastward from the Congress Avenue Bridge down the mighty Colorado River.

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Do the Austin bats fly every night?

Each night from around mid-March to early November, the Austin Bats emerge from under the bridge to blanket the sky as they head out to forage for food.

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Can I see the bats in Austin now?

What months can you see the bats in Austin? The bats only call Austin home for a portion of the year from spring to late fall. The colony will typically begin to appear in late March and stay until temperatures start to drop around September/October.

 

Do bats come out before sunset?

Bats are largely nocturnal, meaning they are most active after sundown. Specifically, little brown bats emerge from their dark roosts two-to-three hours after dusk to feed. After feeding, they return to their roosts to sleep out the rest of the night and day hanging upside down.

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What bridge do the bats come out in Austin?

Thanks to Lady Bird Lake, formerly Town Lake, circa 1980 renovations making a home for the bats in Austin, Texas, the South Congress Bridge, also known as the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge, bats put on a nightly spectacular show of dynamic aerial flight typically lasting 45 to 60 minutes long.