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Statesman Bat Observation Center
Tourist Attraction
Today 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
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305 S Congress Ave Austin, TX 78704
305 South Congress AvenueUSTexasAustin78704
(512) 327-9721batcon.org
Tourist AttractionToday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Monday 9:00 am – 5:00 pmTuesday 9:00 am – 5:00 pmWednesday 9:00 am – 5:00 pmThursday 9:00 am – 5:00 pmFriday 9:00 am – 5:00 pmSaturday ClosedSunday Closed
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Review Summary
4.2
13 reviews
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"It's the only way to get consistently great views of the bats."
"...on the bridge talking with friends and waiting for the bats to take flight..."
"They WILL fly, stir or become active every night..."
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Katy TheBatLady's profile photo
Katy TheBatLady
a month ago
Hi folks! I've conducted bat tours on Lady Bird Lake for 11 seasons with Lone Star Riverboat. While we provide nightly bat watching cruises from the water, the Statesman Park is also a GREAT way to see the bats. Our bat colony's behavior changes throughout the year with large fluctuations in departure times. They WILL fly, stir or become active every night during the bat season between March and November. But, there are periods during the season where their later departure makes visibility from the land or the bridge nearly impossible. 2015 has been a rainy year for us, and rain yields more bugs...so the bat have been leaving later this season compared to past seasons. LUCKILY: as of July 30, 2015: they started leaving earlier in the evening, so visibility is becoming more ideal as we head into "peak bat season." Departure time as of 7/30/15 - 8:42pm If you have any questions for Katythebatlady, you can find me at Lone Star Riverboat on Facebook. Best & Bats!
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Eric Jaw's profile photo
Eric Jaw
2 months ago
Unfortunately, the bats didn't come out tonight even half past 9 pm. Possibly, daylight savings may have had a play in this.
S. V. M.'s profile photo
S. V. M.
3 weeks ago
Interesting. Nothing like you see elsewhere...a must come.
Lauren Strec's profile photo
Lauren Strec
2 years ago
This is a must-do if you're in Austin! Every year, THOUSANDS of pregnant Mexican free-tailed bats migrate into the USA, and the largest urban colony is located under the Ann Richards/Congress Avenue Bridge. At its peak in August, 750,000 to 1.5 million bats leave the bridge, which can take around 45 minutes for the entire colony to exit. Which makes for a spectacular view (and smell)! This grassy knoll is the perfect place to gather with other bat-watchers, learn a little more about the bats, and capture some awesome photos/videos.
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Danny Gorman's profile photo
Danny Gorman
3 months ago
As other reviewers noted, the bats are wild animals and can't be predicted so manage your expectations. We were pretty disappointed that we weren't able to see the bats at all since this was probably our one and only trip to Austin. We arrived at 7:30 PM with a 8:15 PM sunset. By 9:30 PM, the bats still didn't fly out. It was pretty dark and no sign of the bats so a lot of people gave up, including us. Also, beware of parking as they definitely rip you off. You're required to download an app called Parkmobile and it was a $6 minimum for 4 hours.
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Allison Starling's profile photo
Allison Starling
a month ago
Loved this little spot to watch the bats. Lots of grass and pretty trees to position your blanket and camera on to see the bats come out at sunset.
Jack McCauley's profile photo
Jack McCauley
a year ago
Manage your expectations, that's my advice. It's a very cool but somewhat varied spectacle. I've been experiencing this attraction for 13 years now, about time I made a review. In that time, I've probably seen them every way they can be seen, and I've seen them as young adult just out of college with no money and nothing to do and as an adult with too little time and too much money. The best thing about seeing the bats is that it's absolutely free, especially if you've got time to kill and can scope out a free parking spot early and snag a nice viewing point. As the young adult just out of college, I really enjoyed the experience. I had time to kill, and sitting on the lawn or standing on the bridge talking with friends and waiting for the bats to take flight was actually a lot of fun. I had nowhere to go, nowhere to be, I was new to town, and this ... was perfect. Now, you're going to ask me, where is the best spot for viewing? Some people will tell you it's standing on the bridge. Others will tell you that it's over on the hill by the Austin American Statesman. Others will have some other secret spot. However, I'm of the opinion that the best spot is on the water. Look any time the bats are flying and you'll find all kinds of watercraft hanging out under the bridge. There's a reason for this: it's the only place you can really get a sense of how many bats there are, actually see all the bats, and see the large "cloud" they create as they leave. It's never as crowded as it should be though, and I think there's two reasons for this. One, it costs money to get down on the water, and two, it's not quite as easy as walking onto the bridge. You'll have to plan ahead a little, but you won't regret it. Today, if I'm going to go with friends, we're going to either take a boat ride or rent some canoes or kayaks. Not sure I would have sprung for it 13 years ago, but I won't think twice about it now. It's the only way to get consistently great views of the bats. Now, I did say "manage your expectations". What did I mean? Well, understand that this attraction is based on wild animals. While they're somewhat predictable, they're still wild animals. You might get there at the predicted time and find the bats have already taken flight. You might find they're not going to come out for another hour. Your vantage point might suck, even though everyone told you it was great. It might be too dark to see the bats clearly. It might be January and there's no bats. It might be August and there's millions. Everything about this is highly variable. If you just show up on a random night with some friends, I can't tell you what to expect. You might get a spectacle or you might come away wondering what the big deal is. If you want the best chance of a fantastic experience, go early on a late August evening and find a way to be out on the water. Then you'll understand.
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Jose Baylon's profile photo
Jose Baylon
a year ago
Getting a good spot is a challenge. Several people line up on the bridge. You might to wait a while to see them come out.