Summertime in Texas means a whole lot of swimming, music festivals, BBQ, and bats—millions and millions of bats! Each year, colonies of female Mexican free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) migrate north to Texas from Mexico to roost in caves and even under bridges. In fact, Austin hosts the largest urban colony of bats in the world, right under the Congress Avenue Bridge. Every summer night, crowds of people gather on the bridge to watch the 1.5 million bats emerge from beneath to feed on insects. According to Texas Parks & Wildlife, Austin’s bat colony eats around 30,000 pounds of insects each night, making them incredibly effective, natural bug control! Visit this page for more information about the bats at Congress Avenue Bridge. To learn even more about bats, including where else you can spot them across Texas and how to build a house for a bat, check out Texas Parks & Wildlife’s online bat resource.
Visit One of the Largest Colonies on Earth at Bracken Cave
Texan by Nature is proud to be involved in conservation efforts at Bracken Cave as a partner with Bat Conservation International. Bracken Cave, located just north of San Antonio, is the largest known bat maternity colony in the world, with over 15 million bats (and over 100 tons of insects consumed nightly). To find out more about how Texan by Nature and our partners have helped save the bats at Bracken Cave, read about the historic land conservation deal here.
And if you love bats as much as we do, considering becoming a Bat Conservation International Member and schedule a time to visit the bats at Bracken Cave. It’s a great, educational summer activity for the whole family.