Batman might call Gotham City home, but when it comes to seeing the winged creatures in the wild, few places in North America rival Austin, Texas.
million Mexican free-tailed bats make their home under Austin’s Ann W Richards
Congress Avenue Bridge. As the sun sets each night, a black cloud emerges from
under the bridge as the creatures go in search of moths and other bugs to call
the peak viewing season with Bat Fest, now in its seventh year. More than 40,000
people are expected to attend the 27 August celebration, and there’s plenty to
do in addition to the bat show (between 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm). Visitors can don
their craziest bat outfit for a chance to win the costume contest, munch on
themed treats like “bat wings” (actually turkey), pick up a shirt sporting the
city’s unofficial motto, “Keep Austin weird”, or listen to one of the 20 bands
playing the festival.
Austin? The United Nations named 2011-2012 the “Year of the Bat”, so a number of cities around the world will be holding bat-themed celebrations and educational events, like a bat safari on the
Cambridge River outside of London (through 16 September) and the opening of Sweden’s first bat
museum on 23 October.