Mar 31 2013

Bat flight

I saw them! I saw the bats – the Congress Avenue Bridge bats. It’s the biggest urban bat roost in the country. Their twilight emergence is indeed spectacular. Smelly, but spectacular.


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  1. 1
    Brian Engler

    It is awe inspiring isn’t it? I love to watch them when I can. Also good for insect control.

  2. 2

    From the bridge, on the shore, or on a boat? I took a boat tour Thursday night, and the captain had lots of interesting info. They just kept coming and coming – there’s something like 750,000 under that one bridge!

  3. 3
    Claire Ramsey

    a close encounter of the first and second (nasal) kind! so so lucky!!! (PS I saw gray whales migrating on Saturday)!!

  4. 4

    So glad you finally made it!

  5. 5
    Ophelia Benson

    From the shore. The bridge would have been better in a way, to see the way they stream east along the river, but I got there way too early and I’m acrophobic, so I decided I didn’t want to hang out there that long. Anyway from the shore you get to see the way they just flood out of the bridge like water. The boat would have been perfect! But that’s ok, it was very good anyway.

  6. 6
    Ophelia Benson

    I bet Brian Engler has some great photos of it…

  7. 7
    Russell Glasser

    In case anybody hadn’t heard, the Atheist Community of Austin hosts an annual bat cruise every September. We charter a cruise ship that goes out on the river for several hours. Typically about 50-100 atheists hang out on the boat, eating, drinking, and socializing, and then right at sundown we park a short distance from underneath the bridge for optimal bat-viewing. Here’s the announcement of last year’s cruise:

    It doesn’t hold a candle to the 50th Anniversary American Atheist Convention… but anyone who would like to come back to Austin should definitely consider that as a worthwhile excuse.

  8. 8
    Ophelia Benson

    Oh that sounds like fun. There was kind of a mini-version yesterday evening, buncha atheists on the shore with beer bottles.

  9. 9

    Yay! It’s a pretty memorable sight.

    I’ve always wondered if the people in the boats get a lot of guano dropped on them.

  10. 10
    Francisco Bacopa

    I do a gig out in Austin every six weeks. I usually crash at my brother’s place, He lives about a 15 minute walk from East Riverside and South Congress. The bat ascention is quite cool. And at this time of year this is just the first wave. By late April there will be even more and the first wave will already be having their babies.

    There are a couple of bat bridges in Houston with Mexican Free-Tails. I think they must have been blown in from Austin as there are no caves here which is their native habitat. We also have a bridge with what we call “winter bats” that summer in Canada. But none of these bridges can compete with Congress Ave in Austin. Totally worth seeing.

  11. 11

    On my recent trip to San Francisco I saw sea lions, humming birds and a swan eating sweetcorn out of a tin.

  12. 12
    Marie-Thérèse O'Loughlin

    Enjoyed reading about “the biggest urban bat roost in the country.” What a phenomenal number with “750,000 under that one bridge!”

    Am presently looking at one young magpie on the balcony sill, and thinking I am in my element. Nonetheless the view is nothing in comparison to the ‘spectacular’ ‘Congress Avenue Bridge bats’ seen ‘from the shore’ by OB.

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