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April 17, 2015 / KingsIsle Community

Bat Appreciation Day and the Austin Bats

Today is Bat Appreciation Day! Since KingsIsle is located in Austin, Texas, home to the world’s largest urban bat colony, we had to take advantage of this fun holiday to tell players a little bit about the unique town we call home. One of the most interesting and unique attractions Austin has to offer is its very own bat colony!

While there are a few locations where the Austin bats live, the biggest population is right in downtown Austin, under the Congress Avenue Bridge. This bridge crosses over a reservoir of the Colorado River that runs through downtown, called Lady Bird Lake and named after former United States First Lady Lady Bird Johnson. Lady Bird Lake is a hotspot in the city for kayaking & paddle boarding, as well as running & walking the “hike and bike trail” that surrounds it, and watching the bats emerge on summer nights!

When the warmer months of the year roll around, 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats migrate from central Mexico to underneath the bridge, where they can be heard chattering during the day. Every night from March to November, just around dusk, the bats take flight by the thousands, providing the city with a unique and breathtaking tourist attraction.

bats statue

Photo by Riny

When the bats first arrived to the Congress Bridge upon the completion of its renovations in 1980, the people of Austin were not pleased with their presence. Many citizens petitioned to have them removed, fearing the worst from the stereotypically dangerous animals. But with a little bit of research, it was clear that the bats were gentle creatures and did not pose a threat to humans if they didn’t try to touch them. So, they stayed! And since then, every summer night, the bats rid the city of up to 10,000 to 20,000 pounds of insects during their flight.

roundrockbats

Photo taken by Leala of the bats in Round Rock!

Annually, more than 100,000 people head out to the Austin American Statesman Bat Observation center just off of the bridge to witness the bats’ nightly flight. Have you ever had the chance to see them?  Tell us about some unique things in your town in the comments! 🙂

112 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Anonymous / Apr 17 2015 11:22 am

    Rawr i’m a bat

    • Anonymous / Apr 17 2015 3:26 pm

      Best Group Rap and Freestyle Vines 2015 (MMM)

    • Anonymous / Apr 17 2015 6:48 pm

      lol

  2. Nicholas ThunderHeart / Apr 17 2015 11:40 am

    thanks permanent bat wings 🙂

    • Traffic Cone / Apr 17 2015 6:45 pm

      Where? lol

    • Anonymous / Apr 17 2015 7:15 pm

      yea they’re really cool

    • Anonymous / Apr 18 2015 12:58 am

      how

    • lily / Apr 18 2015 2:17 pm

      o.m.g i love bats so love bats so so much

    • Anonymous / Apr 19 2015 4:20 pm

      how did you get the mount??

    • Yoe Tha / Apr 20 2015 8:45 am

      yep how do u get the mouth?

  3. alex titanhunter / Apr 17 2015 2:20 pm

    oh wow never knew we could get codes from here too, got 7 day btw.

  4. kristijan / Apr 17 2015 3:27 pm

    I am a BATMAN don’t you see me in the pic? hahahahaha!

  5. Anonymous / Apr 17 2015 3:57 pm

    Something unique about my town is that every month we have a dog party

  6. Anonymous / Apr 17 2015 4:05 pm

    In my town, there are many haunted houses ( Live down the street from one )

  7. Anonymous / Apr 17 2015 4:17 pm

    haha

  8. judy / Apr 17 2015 4:23 pm

    my town to small to have much but i think bats are cool

  9. sonic_uchiha / Apr 17 2015 4:46 pm

    i never knew that but where i am from it is just country and music can guess where i live

    • sonic_uchiha / Apr 17 2015 4:47 pm

      can you guess

      • ronan / Apr 18 2015 12:41 pm

        somewhere on planet earth?

      • Brian Cantrell / Apr 18 2015 5:19 pm

        Nashville?

      • Anonymous / Apr 19 2015 6:07 am

        Atlanta?

  10. Anonymous / Apr 17 2015 4:50 pm

    I live in Vegas and see bats fly over all the time. I love them!

  11. CJ Hall / Apr 17 2015 4:58 pm

    My town has a Melon Festival every year. It is a small town, but that doesn’t stop us from having the event annually. And Someone said there was a code? I don’t see a code?

    • Chip / Apr 19 2015 1:18 pm

      The bats are good for the city, but they need to clean up under the bridges. I use to use the hike and bike trail and under the bridges stink from the bat droppings. It’s not dangerous. Just stinks.
      ~Keep Austin weird~

  12. wiyanwakan / Apr 17 2015 6:07 pm

    I have bats that come at night to my backyard. They keep the bug population under control ’round here. They are always welcome.

  13. Serena / Apr 17 2015 6:20 pm

    My town in florida, is surrounded by the ocean and the river! We have lots of orange groves and gators and bobcats and racoons that live here! Infact, a bobcat went on the beach and caught a shark recently! I live right around where that happened, it was on the news!

  14. Anonymous / Apr 17 2015 6:37 pm

    Im Dracula the bat 😀

  15. Granic / Apr 17 2015 6:39 pm

    Cool, I wish I could see it in person

  16. Traffic Cone / Apr 17 2015 6:44 pm

    This is so cool! I’ve never seen a bat in person, where I live. BTW, someone said there was a bat wings code? Where? XD

  17. Lady Grace / Apr 17 2015 6:45 pm

    Where I live we have a River Festival. Everyone dresses up in weird clothes (One person came covered in car tires) and we make rafts to race down the river.

  18. Scarlet / Apr 17 2015 7:07 pm

    A bug free city, maybe my town needs more bats because we have more mosquitos than people. You could say those bugs drive me batty. XD LOL

  19. Ethan IronBlood / Apr 17 2015 7:25 pm

    In my city we have the Alamo. Texas pride!

  20. pam blade / Apr 17 2015 7:44 pm

    i love bats sometimes they freak me out but i still love them. bats are a really cool animal!

  21. richard fortinberry / Apr 17 2015 7:52 pm

    my town just got a minor league baseball team

  22. MiguelWindrunner / Apr 17 2015 8:37 pm

    Nice read! We also have a “bat cave” in one of our provinces

  23. Anonymous / Apr 17 2015 9:27 pm

    i had a bat in my home got it to go out the front door.

  24. Sabrina the adult witch / Apr 17 2015 9:28 pm

    Here in Europe a few species of bats are protected by law! In Poland, where I live, the bats don’t usually populate the cities such as mine. Nevertheless they can be found in big numbers in many mountain caves and even in the medieval castles’ ruins or underground tunells, either made by human beings or created by nature. To my mind the bats are fascinating creatures and I thank you all at KI in Austin, Texas, ladies and gentlemen, for this interesting article! Greets, W101 fan 🙂

  25. Jinx / Apr 17 2015 9:35 pm

    This is so COOL! omg i wish i was in Texas so I can see this!

  26. Silverdust Girls / Apr 17 2015 10:04 pm

    Where I live we have “Eagle Days” in January. That’s when hundreds of eagles congregate on the river near the lock and dam where the water is warmer and fish are plentiful. It’s amazing to watch the eagles dive and pluck fish out of the river. If I had to choose between watching eagles or bats, I’m afraid I’d have to choose the eagles every time! Lol

  27. Anonymous / Apr 17 2015 10:20 pm

    wow this is quite cool

  28. DavidDragonHunter / Apr 17 2015 10:21 pm

    bats are really amazing creatures.

  29. Anonymous / Apr 17 2015 10:25 pm

    we kept finding dead bats in the attics and upper floors of buildings in our downtown area

  30. Oran DeathBlood / Apr 17 2015 11:44 pm

    Dang, I wish I had bats to eat all of the nightbugs in my area.

  31. Scarlet Shadow / Apr 17 2015 11:58 pm

    My area is historic. That’s mainly just my state, though.

  32. Mike / Apr 18 2015 12:01 am

    Bats are cool.

  33. Anonymous / Apr 18 2015 12:12 am

    Lol, Got one day bat wings. (My name is Amber Raincloud) 🙂

  34. Anonymous / Apr 18 2015 12:52 am

    I live in Spring Texas, and remember the first time when I was a kid going to Austin,and saw the
    Flight Of The Bats.
    A sight I never forgot, and cannot describe. It’s a sight one can only experience unless there in person.
    Thanks for bringing back some early wonderful childhood memories.

  35. Michael Thunderfist / Apr 18 2015 1:08 am

    We have a Science Center called Turtle Point in our little town that has a nature walk. On this walk, you can view wildlife in its raw nature … even bats 🙂 Turtle Point also has its on bee colony! I love the bats on the nature walk, but it’s nothing like the photos of beautiful Austin. I hope to visit sometime! Bats are so amazing … hence why I am a death character 🙂

  36. Captin Kid Wolf / Apr 18 2015 1:43 am

    Wow, I Really Enjoy reading this one Guys, Its Awesome knowing such a thing takes place, its so Alien for someone in New Jersey to think of As many Bats as Birds Lol,
    this Worlds truly Amazing its Crazy 🌎❗️
    Great Blog Today, Like learning new culture Big part why i Like your Games, But no Culture do i enjoy learning more of Then #Kingsisle Culture 🙂

  37. TannerFireRider / Apr 18 2015 2:10 am

    hey i live in san antonio texas, and yes austin is a great places for bat and it really cool! 😀

  38. anonymous / Apr 18 2015 2:19 am

    love bat never seen one irl i think i have seen one at the zoo 😀

  39. Gregory Gamble / Apr 18 2015 4:28 am

    love bats

  40. Connor / Apr 18 2015 6:21 am

    Wow! This is so unique!

  41. Mpumamandy / Apr 18 2015 6:34 am

    I find bats kinda creepy but I love that they eat bugs so I like to see them around 🙂

  42. Anonymous / Apr 18 2015 7:57 am

    My town has a Fair and Races day with Chariot Races.

  43. Anonymous / Apr 18 2015 8:51 am

    i like bats

  44. Anonymous / Apr 18 2015 8:57 am

    I used to live in Austin and a very beatiful city. The bats were one of my favorite things to do there. Keep Austin weird!

  45. Nathan Spencer / Apr 18 2015 9:10 am

    I am a school teacher in New Mexico, and we did a unit about your bat population last year!

  46. Darby Sunshield / Apr 18 2015 9:30 am

    I know bats are sensible to sun light but do they really die if they are exposed? Asking because I live in Phoenix, AZ and one time I went to one of the parks called Encanto Park and in one of the trees during the day I saw a dead bat.

  47. Matthew MistWeaver / Apr 18 2015 9:31 am

    Maybe it was batman’s bat

  48. Anonymous / Apr 18 2015 9:53 am

    I love bats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀

  49. Anonymous / Apr 18 2015 9:54 am

    I love bats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀 XD

  50. Anonymous / Apr 18 2015 10:16 am

    BATS BATS BATS

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