Houston is well known for many things but none of them are our bat population. San Antonio out-does us in that regard (just that regard, okay?) where you can find 20 million bats emerge from March through October. But in Houston, we have our own colony that you can hang with every night all year long.
The Waugh Drive Bat Colony of more than 200,000 Mexican free-tailed bats live under (you guessed it) the Waugh Drive Bridge near Buffalo Bayou.
And they're actually really well-loved by Houstonians. In fact, in 2006, an observation deck for viewing the incredible bats was installed and you can even volunteer on the Houston Bat Team. The Bat Team also hosts "Bat Chats" every Friday in March through October.
There is also a second colony of bats that live under the Watonga Drive Bridge in northwest Houston.
While most bat colonies migrate south during winter months, these bats remain in Houston all year long—even they know there's no better city.
The best part about them? They eat mosquitoes and pests and can catch up to 1,200 tiny insects an hour.
During Harvey, a large number of the bat colony was wiped out. Since then, they've slowly been growing back. Thank God. You're welcome to stay and manage the Houston mosquito population anytime, little guys.
If you want to observe the bats, be sure to follow the etiquette. Stand several feet away from the bridge so the flying bats have plenty of room, don't shine flashlights on the bats, try not to startle them with loud noises, don't throw things at them (c'mon guys), and don't pick them up if they're on the ground—they will bite! And you don't want that; that's not how Batman became Batman.
Waugh Bridge Bat Colony Watching
Address: 2999 South Wayside, Houston, TX., 77023
Why you need to go: To see the amazing display of thousands of bats fly into the Houston skyline.