March 05, 2006

Gone Batty for SXSW?

Okay Austin Dwellers, have the bats arrived yet?

Jenna is counting on this in a big way for SXSW. That's why we're staying on Congress Ave. Right near the bridge. They're supposed to fly in mid-march. Can't get much more mid-march than SXSW.

So tell me, Have You Seen 'Em?

Congress Avenue Bridge

Located about a mile south of the state capitol in Austin, this bridge offers one of the most picturesque spots in the world to view bat flights, especially during late summer. With a peak population of 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats, the Congress Avenue Bridge is home to the largest urban bat colony in North America.

For best viewing, bring a blanket and watch the bats from the Austin American-Statesman newspaper's Bat Observation Center, located on the south bank of Town Lake, east of the bridge; or watch from the lake on a boat tour by Capital Cruises or Lone Star River Boats. Additionally, the Shoreline Bar & Grill restaurant, Hyatt-Regency Austin hotel, and T.G.I. Friday's restaurant in the Radisson hotel on Town Lake all have outside decks for bat viewing. Bat flights can be witnessed from March to November. For emergence times, call the Bat Conservation International (BCI) Bat Hotline at (512) 416-5700, category 3636, for emergence times, or call BCI for more information at (512) 327-9721. BCI has "bat interpreters" available to answer questions Thursday through Sunday, 7:00 to 9:00pm, from June to August, at the Observation Center.

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1 comment:

Collin said...

I usually stay at the old Austin Motel (cheap, clean and kitsch factor set for 12) which is just down SoCo. The bats are VERY cool and a bit creepy. I've seen them from the bridge and there's also a parking area where you can watch them coming out. Definitely something to see. I'm usually in Austin mid April for the Austin Poetry Festival, so the bats are always in residence.