AUSTIN AN­SWERED: WHERE BATS GO AT NIGHT

Gen­er­ally, they head out along the river and of­ten east to farm­land.

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By Marty Toohey mtoohey@statesman.com

Austin is a place that puts stock in a great many cul­tural sym­bols — break­fast tacos, Wil­lie Nel­son, Franklin Bar­be­cue, the Capi­tol, Matthew McConaughey, burnt orange uni­forms — yet any tour of the city’s crowded iconog­ra­phy would be in­com­plete with­out the bats.

You prob­a­bly know the ones. They live un­der the Ann W. Richards Congress Av­enue Bridge. About 1.5 mil­lion of them.

Mark Hol­lis works near the bridge, crosses it nearly ev­ery work­day and is asked­fre­quently about the bats by both tourists and out-of-town visi­tors to his of­fice. He got to won­der­ing where ex­actly the bats go after they be­gin their en mass flight from the bridge at sun­set.

The short an­swer is they gen­er­ally hunt up and down the Colorado River, but no one is sure

TAMIR KALIFA/ AMER­I­CAN-STATESMAN

A crowd watches as Mex­i­can free-tailed bats exit the Ann W. Richards Congress Av­enue Bridge on Fri­day. Some 1.5 mil­lion bats head out each evening to hunt for food.

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