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Welcome to the World’s Largest Occupied Bat Houses. The two University of Florida Bat Barns and Bat House, far right, are located on the north side of Museum Road across from Lake Alice on the UF campus.

The most common species living here is the Brazilian free-tailed bat, Tadarida brasiliensis. The Southeastern bat, Myotis austroriparius, and Evening bat, Nycticeius humeralis, also live in the structures.

Note: Summer 2020 road closures

map showing road closuresRoad construction this summer for a roundabout at the intersection of Museum Road/Drive and Radio Road near the UF Bat Houses prevents visitors from reaching the houses from the west via Radio Road or Museum Road. To access the parking lot just west of the UF Bat Houses during this closure, visitors should approach from the east on Museum Road and turn right into the parking lot just before the closure barrier. Parking in this lot is allowed after 3:30 p.m. To access the UF Baughman Center parking lot at Lake Alice, located on Museum Drive just around the corner from the bat houses, approach from the south off Hull Road. Turn right into the parking lot just before the closure barrier. Parking is allowed in this lot after 8 p.m. Download Summer 2020 Museum Road Closure Map

About the evening emergence

The bats normally emerge during a 15- to 20-minute period after sunset, before total darkness on calm, warm evenings when temperatures are above 65 F. Bats may swoop near those observing the emergence to eat insects attracted to the carbon dioxide in human breath, however they will not attack or harm people when left alone. High winds, heavy rain or cold temperatures will keep the bats in the house for the evening. On warm winter evenings, the bats may come out for a drink of water at the lake and exercise; however they can eat only when bugs are flying.

Maximum viewing opportunities

The best seasons for observing the emergence are spring through early summer, when days are increasing in length. During this time, the bats emerge sooner after sunset while there is a longer period of twilight. To gain the best perspective of the bats’ emergence, watch the western sky over the pine trees and around the street lights on Museum Road. The shadows from the trees north of the house obscure the view of the bats’ emergence.

Important things to remember when observing the bats

Bats are designated by Florida Statutes Chapter 372 as “Non-Game Wildlife” and their habitat must not be molested or disturbed by humans.