Best of Austin More 2013 Critics Outdoors & Recreation Best Thing That Floats Our Boat: Waller Creek Boathouse Best Natural High: Trapeze Austin Best Zumba Instructor: Phil Amador Best New Water Activity: Austin Water Bikes Best Intimate Climb and View: Pennybacker Bridge Cliff View Best 'To the Bat Cave!': Bracken Bat Cave, New Braunfels Best Stargazing: UT Astronomy Department Star Parties Best Extreme Indoor Activity: iFly Best Badass Way to Deter Grackles: Winged Victory Best Ladies Day: Red's Indoor Range Best Check Yourself Before You Rec Yourself: Texas State University Student Recreation Center Best Reason to Say Yee-Haw: Pioneer Town's Cowboy Museum Best New Flow Fest: River Awareness Day Best Brandishing of the Burnt Orange: UT Volleyball Best Soccer Player: Kristopher Tyrpak

2013 › Critics › Outdoors & Recreation

Best Nightly Air Show: Purple Martins at Highland Mall

To the untrained eye, the swarm of birds circling over the old Highland Mall in North Austin might be mistaken for a flock of the much maligned and often pesky grackle. On the contrary, these are Purple Martins coming to roost in the trees around the north side of the shopping mall. The dark birds with a purplish iridescence, distinctive tapered wings, and forked tails are known for their voracious appetite for mosquitos and other bugs. It’s like a bat emergence in reverse. Look for them between 8pm and dark, July to mid-August before they head for winter vacation in South America. Want to know more? Contact our local Audubon Society.

Travis Audubon Society
3710 Cedar, Box 5, 512/300-2473,

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