AUSTIN, Texas — August is one of the best times for bat watching, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD).
TPWD said in August, bat pups are ready to fly out of their caves and enclosed areas to check out the night sky.
According to the department, Texas is the "battiest" state in the county. The Lone Star State is home to 32 of the 47 species of bats found in the U.S. It also boasts the largest known bat colony in the world, Bracken Cave Preserve, near San Antonio, and the largest urban bat colony, under the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin.
Visit Austin says the best time to watch the bats take off from under the bridge is right around sunset, but they could fly out anywhere from 7:30 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. It can take as long as 45 minutes for all of them to fly out for the night. Visit Austin has an entire guide for bat watching, including where to watch and some fun facts about our famous nocturnal residents.
The so-called "bat season" also usually features a few fun events dedicated to the bats. On Thursday, Aug. 24, Bat Conservation International, TPWD and Bracken Cave are hosting a "bat emergence" event at Bracken Cave. Twenty million bats are expected to emerge.
And, of course, there's Austin's annual "Bat Fest." Every August, the festival is held on the Congress Avenue Bridge. In addition to bat viewing, attendees can expect live music, food and drinks, arts and crafts and a bat costume contest. Learn more about this year's event, scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 26, below: