If you haven’t been to the world’s largest occupied bat house located in Gainesville yet, you should definitely consider going. Thousands of bats fly out of the bat houses together around sunset to feed on insects. It is a sight to see.
This was an amazing experience for me because I have always been intrigued by bats. I arrived at the bat house 30 minutes before sunset and waited for the magical moment when about 400,000 bats flew out at once. The bats took about 10 minutes to all come out.
As I watched, bats were swooping down near the people. It was crazy that they got so close. A big plus to this adventure is that it is free. There were a lot of bugs flying around, so I would recommend bringing bug spray.
The UF Bat Barn and Bat House is located on Museum Road and is across from Lake Alice. Parking was very convenient because there was a parking lot nearby that is free to park in after 4:30 p.m.
The kinds of bats that you can expect to see living here include the Brazilian free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis), the Southeastern bat (Myotis austroriparius), and the Evening bat (Nycticeius humeralis).
The best season to go see the bats is in spring through early summer. This is because the days are longer and the bats come out sooner after sunset. This adventure was a great experience and a very easy thing to do. I will be back again to see these mysterious creatures.