The Famous Congress Bridge around Austin Downtown and it's sunset show with Thousands of Bats flying high in the sky

When you google about main things to do in Austin, one strange things shows up in results - "Flying Bats around Congress Bridge" and when I first got to know about it, I thought who wants to see so many bats and suddenly I recalled all the places where I have seen bats. Most of those places were usually stinky. Anyways, when I was walking around the downtown during sunset time, I noticed lot of people gathering around Congress Bridge on both sides and many were standing  on the bridge. I also made a stop here and thought of witnessing what all those people were waiting for. In Gen-z term, I suddenly got into FOMO mode. So here I share what happens during every sunset around Congress Bridge which is in middle of The Austin Downtown and South Congress Avenue.

When you google about main things to do in Austin, one strange things shows up in results - "Flying Bats around Congress Bridge" and when I first got to know about it, I thought who wants to see so many bats and suddenly I recalled all the places where I have seen bats. Most of those places were usually stinky. Anyways, when I was walking around the downtown during sunset time, I noticed lot of people gathering around Congress Bridge on both sides and many were standing  on the bridge. I also made a stop here and thought of witnessing what all those people were waiting for. In Gen-z term, I suddenly got into FOMO mode. So here I share what happens during every sunset around Congress Bridge which is in middle of The Austin Downtown and South Congress Avenue. 

Above photograph shows people sitting around the Congress bridge in Austin to wait for flocks of thousands of bats flying around. You see people everywhere in front of Lady Bird lake and the famous Congress bridge on the right.

Above photograph shows people sitting around the Congress bridge in Austin to wait for flocks of thousands of bats flying around. You see people everywhere in front of Lady Bird lake and the famous Congress bridge on the right. 



Austin's bats are almost all female. In early June each bat gives birth to one single baby bat. It takes about five weeks after birth for the pups to learn to fly and hunt insects on their own. In the meantime, the mommy bats nurse their babies and each can locate her own pup among the thousands under the bridge. At the end of the season, you can see roughly 1.5 million bats ascending into the summer sky.


Another photograph of people on other side of the Congress Bridge. All places around the Congress Bridge are occupied by people and some are expert at locating a place which gives better views of these bats. Supposedly, the place on other side of the downtown is considered better for sighting. We kept moving from one place to another so it's hard to say on the basis of my own experience. But you see bats all around.

Another photograph of people on other side of the Congress Bridge. All places around the Congress Bridge are occupied by people and some are expert at locating a place which gives better views of these bats. Supposedly, the place on other side of the downtown is considered better for sighting. We kept moving from one place to another so it's hard to say on the basis of my own experience. But you see bats all around.  


All the photographs are shot on phone camera as I was not carrying my SDLR camera. That restricted me zooming in well, but if you look at above photograph and pay attention to the tiny dots in the sky, they are all bats. There is a line kind of shape on left side of the sky and dispersed flock on the right. Also there is another flock of bats in the middle of the photograph. Feel free to download this photograph and see by zooming in. The quality may not be that good but you will get a sense about how the sky looks like when Bats come out during sunset in Austin.

All the photographs are shot on phone camera as I was not carrying my SDLR camera. That restricted me zooming in well, but if you look at above photograph and pay attention to the tiny dots in the sky, they are all bats. There is a line kind of shape on left side of the sky and dispersed flock on the right. Also there is another flock of bats in the middle of the photograph. Feel free to download this photograph and see by zooming in. The quality may not be that good but you will get a sense about how the sky looks like when Bats come out during sunset in Austin. 


Above photograph is clicked from the top of the South Congress bridge in Austin. Sunset reflecting on highrise buildings of Austin on the banks of Lady Bird Lake.

Above photograph is clicked from the top of the South Congress bridge in Austin. Sunset reflecting on highrise buildings of Austin on the banks of Lady Bird Lake. 


It's claimed that around a million bats fly around the Austin Congress Bridge everyday. A 1980 renovation transformed the Congress Avenue Bridge into an ideal bat cave, soon attracting migrating Mexican free-tailed bats. After few years Austin's bat numbers have increased and locals have adopted the beloved creatures as neighbors who happily handle the city's bug mitigation and provide an amazing nightly show.

It's claimed that around a million bats fly around the Austin Congress Bridge everyday. A 1980 renovation transformed the Congress Avenue Bridge into an ideal bat cave, soon attracting migrating Mexican free-tailed bats. After few years Austin's bat numbers have increased and locals have adopted the beloved creatures as neighbors who happily handle the city's bug mitigation and provide an amazing nightly show.



Starting in late March and continuing through early fall, North America's largest urban bat population calls Austin home. The bats begin to wake up and start their night flight around sunset. The first few bats begin to trickle out from under the bridge then. After the sun sets, the show really begins and thousands of bats pour out and cascade East over Lady Bird Lake.

Starting in late March and continuing through early fall, North America's largest urban bat population calls Austin home. The bats begin to wake up and start their night flight around sunset. The first few bats begin to trickle out from under the bridge then. After the sun sets, the show really begins and thousands of bats pour out and cascade East over Lady Bird Lake. 

The best time to witness the bats in Austin is around sunset, but the nightly show can take place anywhere from 7:30 to 9:45 p.m. It can take as long as 45 minutes for all of the bats to exit the bridge for the night.

The best time to witness the bats in Austin is around sunset, but the nightly show can take place anywhere from 7:30 to 9:45 p.m. It can take as long as 45 minutes for all of the bats to exit the bridge for the night. 


Austin's resident bats are Mexican free-tailed bats, which migrate each spring from central Mexico to various roosts all over the southwestern U.S. On their nightly flights the bats eat anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000 pounds of insects, including mosquitoes and harmful agricultural pests.


Austin's resident bats are Mexican free-tailed bats, which migrate each spring from central Mexico to various roosts all over the southwestern U.S. On their nightly flights the bats eat anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000 pounds of insects, including mosquitoes and harmful agricultural pests.

 
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Austin celebrates its unofficial mascots every year in mid-August, which also happens to be peak bat migrating season. This happens right on the Congress Avenue Bridge. Bat Fest has become the biggest bat-viewing party of the year. During this time expect tons of live music, local food and drink, more than 50 arts and crafts vendors, children's activities and a bat costume contest.


Austin celebrates its unofficial mascots every year in mid-August, which also happens to be peak bat migrating season. This happens right on the Congress Avenue Bridge. Bat Fest has become the biggest bat-viewing party of the year. During this time expect tons of live music, local food and drink, more than 50 arts and crafts vendors, children's activities and a bat costume contest.

There is good ecosystem around Bats of Austin and interestingly this has become an important part of tourism in Austin. 

Please use comments section below to ask your questions or sharing suggestions. Thanks for your time ! 

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