Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Austin, Same Bat Time, Same Bat Bridge

OK back to the bats. As I mentioned on my DFW blog my wife and I spent this past weekend in Austin Texas. On Saturday night just before sunset we drove to the Congress Street Bridge and sat on a grassy knoll beside the lake and near the bridge. We waited for the bats as did the crowds on the bridge, by us and on the boats. I wasn't sure what to expect but I was very curious. After a few minutes we could hear squeaky sounds coming from the bridge but the chatter of the crowd was drowning it out. I was surprised by the amount of excitement that was growing as the sun sunk further and the bat squeaking grew louder and louder even than the crowd. Finally after about 40 minutes the first group of bats emerged to cheers, gasps, oohs and aahs. The whole area became frenzied with people looking to the sky in amazement. The bats were like rock stars going on stage, cameras were flashing all over even small children were taking pictures. The very strange thing was once the bats came out a terrible smell came with them it was really bad but not strong enough to drive people away. I read that the million plus bats there eat up to 25,000 pounds of insects every night. These are Mexican free-tailed bats and from March to November they live in Austin and come out at sunset to feed and do whatever else bats do. Fortunately I didn't get anything on me except a questionable drop on my arm that could have been rain. People were advised to wear hats for obvious reasons. It was an enjoyable and interesting time. I'm glad they came out before it was completely dark since I have trouble taking night photos. Click to see more bat pictures.


  1. BRAVE James !
    I'm really impressed with this spot!Lucky you to have rain drops in your arm instead of....okay...forget it! LOL
    For sure it is really different because I've never heard about it here in Brazil!
    I must confess I have a strong feeling about "bats"and "insects" so...for me both can be far away , it would be great! Just kidding!
    Many thanks for so amazing real story!
    Your world is fabulous!
    Léia :-)

  2. I would love to have seen those bats (maybe with a hard-hat) :) Thanks for dropping by my blog. I was born and raised near you, in Corona, Riverside County. I'm glad to be in Oregon now. I'm one of those people who loves the climate here. I'll be interested in following your photo essays wherever you go. I enjoy doing that, too, on my personal blog (linked from the Daily Photo).

  3. geez like a scene from the Birds1