Austins going batty ! That's right, every year people come from all over to see bat season in Austin. The season runs from March to November. This is when the bats migrate from Mexico to Austin to feed and then give birth. They are Mexican free tail bats. I would not even of known about this if I hadn't been there visiting my daughter. The phenomenon is very popular among Austinites, as there were hundreds there for the viewing on the night I went. When we were present, they had a table out belonging to the Bat Conservation handing out literature.
You can see the bats come out nightly on the southeast side of the South Congress Bridge. It is the largest urban bat colony in North America. They look like a dense black cloud. You can hear a high pitched chirping noise when you get close enough. Their population is around 750,000 pregnant female bats. They each give birth to one pup in early June. The babies only stay around for this first season. The mother bats always try to return where they gave birth at the year before. The bats live for about 9 years, and will weigh about 9 grams when grown. They eat about 20,000 pounds of bugs nightly.
The bats start flying out around sunset. They usually do this for a few hours. Late July into August is when you can start seeing the baby bats fly out. Then the population increases to 1.5 million. Austin calls this their peak bat season. They return in the morning to the bridge about 30 minutes before sunrise. They start their migration back to Mexico in November.
If you go they have a parking lot next to the bridge that charges $6 for parking. If you walk 1/4 mile down, you will see a parking lot to park in for free. They even have bat viewing cruises you can take so you can watch it all from the water. Whichever way you go, it definitely is a sight to see!