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Check Out the Bats That Call Austin Home

With Halloween coming up this weekend, we wanted to write a special York Real Estate blog about something fun to do over the weekend for those that live in Austin or are visiting the area while doing an Austin home search. One thing in particular came to mind: the bats.

The largest urban bat population in North America calls Austin, Texas home. At their peak population in the summer, approximately 1.5 million Mexican free-tail bats live under the Congress Avenue Bridge. They fly out every night about dusk in a large swarm and roam the skies in search of insects – not people – for dinner.

If you are looking for something different to do over Halloween weekend, you can visit the Congress Avenue bats. Groups of people gather every night throughout the year to watch the bats emerge. This week they are coming out between 7 and 7:30 p.m. Due to the cold front that came in on Wednesday, some of the bats have already left for the warmer climate of central Mexico where many spend the winter before returning to Austin in March or April. There are still many to see.

Here are just a few of the places in Austin to view the bats. You can park for free after 6 p.m. at the Austin American Statesman International building, located at 305 S. Congress Avenue. One option is to walk down to the grassy area near the river. It’s a good idea to arrive by 6:30 (and wear a hat if you plan on getting close to the bridge). Another option is to stand on the Congress Avenue Bridge and watch them fly out from underneath. The Shoreline Bar and Grill at the Four Seasons Hotel (98 San Jacinto Boulevard) has a terrace that is open unless it is raining. You can stop in for a bite to eat during prime bat time.

Capital Cruises offers an hour-long Bat Cruise that goes right under the bridge. The boat leaves the dock at 6:30 p.m. Reservations are required and they are close to selling out for tonight and Saturday night. It’s $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $5 for kids ages 3 to 12. Check out their website at www.capitalcruises.com for details.

For more information about the Congress Avenue bats, call the Bat Hotline at (512) 416-5700.

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