Bat House & Bat Barn

Northeast Florida

Across from Gainesville's little Lake Alice, adjacent to a student garden, stands what appears to be two oversized birdhouses. However, these stilted gray-roofed structures are actually home to a family of Brazilian free-tailed bats. Built in 1991 after the flying mammals' poop began stinking up the campus, the population has since exploded to more than 300,000. Each night just after sundown, the bats drop from their roost – at the amazing rate of 100 bats per second – and fly off to feed.

To witness this winged fury, follow University Ave west to Gale Lamerand Dr, turn left and head south to Museum Rd, between Village Dr and Radio Rd. The bat shacks are on the north side of Museum Rd. There's a parking lot south of here, near Radio Rd, with a sidewalk leading to an observation area. Parking is free after 4:30pm weekdays and all day on weekends.

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