Best time to travel to Texas

Bat Watching

Millions of little flying mammals await dusk to fly out of their summer homes in search of food

Bat Watching
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© Adventures of KM&G-Morris

Did you know that Texas is the summer home for the largest colony of bats in the world? The Mexican free-tailed bat is one of the most abundant in North America and is the state bat of Texas. These small flying mammals concentrate here from March till October.

Mexican Free-Tailed Bats in Round Rock
Mexican Free-Tailed Bats in Round Rock

They come every summer, to give birth to the new generation ​of bats. Bracken Cave is where they stay till dusk. But when the sun goes down, millions of bats pour from the cave to enjoy the nightlife and search for food. The number of bats staying there is over 20 million. To protect the bats, access to the cave and surrounding property is strictly controlled. It is open to the public for viewing only on select summer nights.

Bat 'cloud' near the Bracken Cave
Bat 'cloud' near the Bracken Cave

The Congress Street Bridge in Austin is another place home to numerous bats. Over 1.5 million bats live beneath the bridge, which makes it the largest urban bat colony in North America. This place is a popular summer night spot for viewing the clouds of bats flying out under the bridge in search of insects to feed on.

Bracken Bat Cave
Bracken Bat Cave
Bats leaving the Congress St. Bridge, Austin
Bats leaving the Congress St. Bridge, Austin

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