Austin Bat Education Program

Spectators at Congress Ave bridge
Spectators enjoy watching the Mexican free-tailed bats emerge from under the
Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, TX. Credit:

Every year BCI and our volunteers spend summer nights at the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge, educating the 140,000+ visitors about the biology, behavior, value, and history of Austin’s famous bats. Our volunteer docents are key to the success of this program. BCI docents are bat ambassadors, answering questions from the public and spreading the conservation message.

The program runs from April to September where BCI docents assist staff in running an education booth at the bridge four nights a week (Thursday through Sunday). Shifts run from 2 to 2 ½ hours each night from approximately 7 to 9 p.m., depending on time of emergence, crowds and other variables. Docents can sign up for shifts in advance depending on their availability.

Becoming a BCI docent is easy. You can sign up for one of two training sessions running in March where we will teach you all you need to know about the history and biology of Austin’s iconic Mexican free-tailed bats. You will also get the chance to meet a live Mexican free-tailed bat (a volunteer, just like you!).

Volunteer docents
BCI volunteer docents Don Bergquist(left) and Lee MacKenzie (right) help
educate visitors about Austin's Mexican freetailed bats.
Credit: Dianne Odegard.

2016 Training sessions:

Location: BCI Headquarters - 500 Capital of TX Hwy. N., Bldg. 1, Austin, TX 78746

Date: Wednesday, March 16 OR March 23

Time: 7 to 9 p.m.

Please Email Dianne Odegard to RSVP This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

After your training session we will schedule a session for each of you with a seasoned docent to watch and learn for a night so you can get a feel for how it’s done. We will also provide you with plenty of resources to study on your own.

So if you love bats and live in or near Austin, please join us!