The two bat houses and informational signage are located on the University of Florida campus in an open field on the north side of Museum Road across from Lake Alice.
Visitors are welcome to observe the bats emerging in the evenings seven days a week. There are no staff onsite or facilities available. There is currently ongoing road construction on campus, so we encourage visitors to check campus closure maps and allow extra travel time depending on these ongoing campus projects.
Best time: Arrive before sunset to find a spot to observe the bats. They normally emerge 15-20 minutes after sunset.
Bat watching: There are benches along the fence line on Museum Road, as well as across the street near Lake Alice. Watch the western sky over the pine trees and around the streetlights.
Fees: The bat houses are in an open field on the UF campus so there are no fees or representatives on site.
Weather: Rain, wind and cold temperatures will affect how many bats emerge on an evening. Check the weather when planning a visit.
Parking: There is a free parking lot adjacent to the field where the bat houses are located. All parking on campus has clearly marked signage for when and where you can park.
Pets: The bat houses are located on the UF campus, therefore pets on leashes are permitted.
Safety: Do not walk under the bat houses. NEVER pick up a bat you find on the ground. More safety information.
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; but they’re only able to hunt 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 gradually begin to emerge sooner after sunset, taking advantage of the lengthened twilight that comes with spring. To gain the best perspective of the bats’ emergence, watch the western sky over the pine trees and around the streetlights on Museum Road. The shadows from the trees north of the house obscure the view.
Important things to remember when observing the bats
Bats are designated by Florida Statutes Chapter 372 as “Non-Game Wildlife,” making it unlawful to willfully disturb their habitats.
- Please do not throw any objects at the bats or the bat houses.
- Please avoid making loud or high-pitched noises, as the bats are easily disturbed. Parents, please encourage children to comply.
- Maintain a safe distance from the structures by remaining behind the wooden fence of the observation area.
- Beware of falling urine and guano as bats fly overhead.
- NEVER pick up a bat on the ground.
- The observation area and kiosk were partially funded with a generous donation from George Marks of the Florida Bat Center, Bay Pines, Fla.
- Construction of observation area, benches, fencing and crosswalk by UF Physical Plant Division.
- Construction of the first Bat House by Bobby Henley Construction Company, funded by University Athletic Association.
- Bat Barn construction by Anglin Construction Co., funded by UAA, Bacardi Corporation and private donations via the Lubee Bat Conservancy.
- Technical support/assistance provided by the Florida Museum of Natural History and UF Environmental Health and Safety Pest Management Services.