Stunning Night Kayaking: Congress Bridge Bat Colony
Congress Bridge Bat Colony
Imagine you are kayaking along the dusky San Marcos River in Austin, Texas as the sun begins to set. You can hear the water gently lapping at the sides of your kayak and you can see stars slowly beginning to dot the horizon. When you begin to pass under the Congress Bridge, the peaceful landscape is suddenly blossoming with the squawks of bats and the flapping of their wings. You have just kayaked under the largest bat colony in America.
Where is the bat bridge?
Congress Bridge, located in downtown Austin, is home to 5 million bats and they take to the sky every evening. The Congress Bridge Bat Colony brings hundreds of people out every night to watch the bats come out and take flight. A sky full of bats doesn’t seem to be the most appealing tourist attraction, but the sheer magnitude of the sight at hand has visitors in awe.
The Congress Bridge Bat Colony moved in when the bridge was reconstructed in 1980. It wasn’t intended to become the home for so many bats, but the crevices beneath the bridge were the perfect perch for the Mexican free-tailed bats that started flocking to the area. Bats had lived under the Congress Bridge for years, but started moving in by the thousands after the bridge was reconstructed.
Bats have a huge benefit.
The fact that such a large colony at the Congress Bridge Bat Colony has a safe place to live is a miracle. Bats remain to be an endangered animal. The Mexican free-tailed bats migrate to the bridge every spring. Being made-up mostly of females, each one gives birth to a baby in early June. Bat Conservation International make sure that the Congress Bridge Bat Colony remains safe in their location so future generations can come and admire their magnificence. The bats also offer a benefit to the area. They eat thousands of pound of insects and that include harmful agricultural pests that hurt local crops.
While most tourists gather from the top of the bridge to see the Congress Bridge Bat Colony come out for their evening flight, the best way to see them is by kayaking underneath the bridge. By kayaking underneath Congress Bridge, you get a unique view of their living quarters that not every tourist gets. Not only can you witness the beauty of their flights from the serenity of the river, but you can also peer up into the inner workings of the bridge and see how the colony thrives.
Kayak alongside of them as they glide through the sky and see a beautiful sight at a point that not many get to witness. If you are a fan of kayaking, a fan of nature, or a fan of the beautiful endangered species that is bats, you should take a kayak ride down the San Marcos River with our Austin kayak tours. You are guaranteed to experience a kayak ride unlike any other.