Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Bat Bridge, Austin TX

The Mexican Freetail Bat is the mascot of Austin, after the city accidentally built a perfect bat habitat along the bat's migration route from Mexico. The city considered them pests at first and tried to get rid of them, but Austin citizens fought to save the bats and now "bat bridge" is a big tourist attraction. 1.5 million bats summer in the long thin recesses under Congress street bridge, rearing their babies before heading back to Mexico. At sunset they swoop out in a massive group to fly east up the river feeding on 20,000 pounds of bugs a night!

It was cloudy the night we visited the bridge, so they did not make their dramatic flight, but stayed close to home, darting over our heads to feed on mosquitoes.

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