Congress Bridge is the home to the largest urban bat community in the world and every night four and a half million of the little beasties come flying out to fetch dinner. I battled the sun trying to get there before the big event. I parked a half mile away believing this was such an attraction there couldn’t possibly be any place closer. As it turns out there is a parking lot right next to the bridge that is pretty much for the bat people who gather every night. You have to get there early though because it was full.
I was thrilled to see people of all types walking towards the bridge and gathering both on the bridge and under it in a little park. I went under it and picked a spot on the grass to sit and wait. As dawn drew in a handful of bats, maybe 20 or so all together, started to file out one at a time, swooping down towards the crowd. After a few more bats came out the crowd suddenly got up and left. I wanted to stay and keep watching because the cacophony of squeaking was still overwhelming. More people left until there were perhaps ten people under the bridge still. I’d been having trouble with the camera which didn’t like the night photography. I got up to take a closer look and walked to the end of the bridge… now this is where all the action is! If you go to watch the bats go to the fence bordering the water. The bats were coming out of that little area like water, thousands of them swooping by in seconds. The people above this one particular location were also getting a show, and the only people left on the bridge. We walked up there and watched awhile too. It was amazing. I can’t believe how many of the little boogers were still pouring out. It made me so happy to watch them. I didn’t really think I’d get that much of a kick out of it but how cool is that, that these bats are living, in the millions, under a bridge, in the middle of a huge city, and people are gathering in support of them? It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I was practically skipping back to the car.