Over 1.5 million bats live under the Congress Avenue bridge, which was built in 1980 and provides homey crevices for the bats to live in, and fly out nightly at dusk to feed, which helps keeps the city’s insect population in check.
Mexican free-tail bats begin arriving in Austin in February and stay start flying south for the winter in November. Although the heat is unbearable in August, that’s the best month to view the bats since the pups are able to fly.
The bats emerge from under the bridge in a massive swarm creating a dramatic effect in the sky that can be viewed from several surrounding hotels and watering holes but the best (and cheapest) seat to the show is from the bridge. Don’t even think about standing underneath the bridge or watching from a paddle boat parked below the structure—the smell of bat guano is overwhelming. over 4 years ago