Location of Waugh Bridge

Frequently Asked Bat Questions

Q. What type of bats inhabit the bridge?

A. Mexican Free-Tailed Bats

Q. How many bats inhabit the bridge?
A. We estimate up to 300,000 but research is currently underway to find a better answer to this question.

Q. Do bats live in the bridge year around?
A. Yes, but beacuse these bats are migratory, there are more bats in residence from March-September than in winter months. In the late summer months, the colony reaches its largest size as this is a nursing colony.

Q. Why do bats live in this bridge, but not other

A. This bridge was designed with expansion joints that happen to be just the right size for this species of bat.

Q. What do bats eat?
A. Bats eat many things from insects to fruit and nectar. Mexican free-tailed bats eat insects and especially like moths. This is why they are farmers' best friends!

Q. Are these bats dangerous?
A. Bats are gentle animals and will not harm you if they are left alone. NEVER try to touch or handle a bat as it may carry diseases.


Mexican Free-Tailed Bat Facts
An individual typically lives to about 13 years old.

Females give birth to a single baby, or pup, each spring.

When not living in bridges, these bats make their homes in

limestone caves and abandoned mines.

The emergence of large bat colonies can be seen on Doppler weather radar!

The bats inhabit the Waugh Drive Bridge over Buffalo Bayou between Allen Parkway and Memorial Drive.

Parking is available at Spotts Park and along Allen Parkway

Viewing Tips

The emergence is easily viewed from the sidewalk of the Waugh Drive Bridge or from the north bayou bank, east of the bridge in Buffalo Bayou Park. Please observe quietly and do NOT stand under the bridge, this disturbs the bats.

For an amazing, from the water, view of the bats' emergence, reserve your spot on our Bat Colony Pontoon Boat Tours!

The bats emerge around sunset each night, unless it is rainy or foggy, then the emergence is generally delayed.

The bats also prefer warm temperatures and typically do not emerge if the temperature is below 50°.

“Bat Ambassador” volunteers with the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department are available Friday and Saturday evenings (30 minutes prior to sunset) throughout the summer months to answer questions and lead bat viewing activities during the Waugh Bridge Colony’s spectacular nightly emergences.

Contact Diana Foss, Urban Wildlife Biologist at 281-456-7029 or



Bat images courtesy of Bat Conservation International