Friday Film:: City Bats

friday filmA new feature on The Metropolitan Field Guide will be a video post every other week. There are a lot of great videos out there about urban wildlife, urban biodiversity and many other topics related to the design of urban wildlife habitat. Some are art films while others are documentaries, lectures and discussions.

To kick off this feature, the first video features the Congress Avenue Bridge Mexican free-tailed bats in Austin, the largest urban bat colony in North America. The bats leave the crevices at dusk every night from March through November while hundreds of people line up along the bridge, shores and take river cruises to watch the bats swarm away from the bridge. This city has embraced the bats and as a result it has become a big tourist attraction and a well-known urban wildlife spectacle. This video is a clip from the BBC documentary series titled “Human Planet“.

To learn more about the Congress Avenue Bridge bats visit the Bat Conservation International website.

City Bats on Vimeo.

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Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner is a naturalist, writer and photographer based in Seattle. She is the author of a book about urban nature, coming Spring 2020 from Mountaineers Books. She writes freelance articles about natural history and has bylines in Crosscut, ParentMap, National Wildlife Magazine and others. On the side she writes fiction.

Kelly holds a bachelors degree in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon and a certificate in non-fiction writing from the University of Washington.

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  1. ooh, great idea!

  2. Love your new feature, and you chose a fine clip to start it off. I saw the Austin bats once years ago. An extraordinary sight! You’re lucky out in the Northwest that you have no white nose syndrome, the emerging disease that is killing bats in the Northeast. Here’s hoping scientists can figure out how to stop it before it spreads across the country.

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