Bats at the Congress Avenue Bridge

Watch 1.5 million Mexican free-tail bats launch themselves into the air from the Congress Bridge every evening at dusk.

What started as a few bats under the Congress Avenue Bridge in downtown Austin surged to thousands after a bridge renovation in 1980. Today, it’s a must-see nightly event to watch the sky fill with a cloud of over one million Mexican free-tail bats.

The Largest Urban Bat Colony in the U.S.

The gentle creatures migrate from Mexico every year in the spring to roosting spots throughout the American southwest. The Congress Avenue Bridge becomes home to mostly female bats that give birth to a single pup each.  The females raise and nurture their young from early March through early November.

Best Vantage Points

Over an estimated 100 thousand people turn out to watch the spectacle annually. The bridge itself is a prime viewing spot as well as nearby Austin-American Statesmen park. Two tour operators, Lone Star Riverboats and Capitol Cruises, offer popular bat-watching tours right on the water with over an hour of sightseeing and information.