In this Houston field trip, go see hundreds of thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats emerge at sunset... right in the middle of Houston! Go to the Waugh Bridge Bat Colony at Buffalo Bayou Park.
Below find resources to read before your trip, details on each stop and parking/driving instructions.
- Bat Conservation International (Website)
- Mexican Free-Tailed Bats with Director of Bracken Cave Preserve, Fran Hutchins (Video)
- The Link Between Bats and Coronavirus (Video)
- Bat House Builder Handbook (PDF)
Explore the Waugh Bridge Bat Colony:
Waugh Bridge at Allen Parkway
Unlike many other Texas bat colonies that migrate south during the winter months, the Waugh Bridge Bat Colony remains in Houston all year.
Visitors can view the bats from the banks of the bayou, from the Waugh Bridge and from the viewing platform (on the south side of the bayou).
Watching the bats emerge is free, just be sure to follow THESE guidelines to keep them safe.
Also, a second bat colony lives beneath the Watonga Drive Bridge in northwest Houston. (I haven't been to this one, so if you have, tell me about it!)
Find the map below.
Parking is available along Buffalo Bayou, but it can be a little tricky. Make sure you allow plenty of time to circle and find a spot.
There are some spots along Allen Parkway. There is also parking available at Spotts Park. You can view the bats from either the north bank or south bank of Buffalo Bayou (but the south side has the platform).
(Some parking spots are free and some are metered, so look for signs before you park your car!)