Complete coverage of Texas' record heat wave of 2011

A Dallas Neighborhood's Very Fowl Problem

Egrets dying in Pleasant Grove neighborhood

Friday, Aug 5, 2011  |  Updated 11:20 PM CDT
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A Dallas woman is trying to get help in removing dead egrets in her neighborhood.

Kevin Cokely, NBCDFW.com

A Dallas woman is trying to get help in removing dead egrets in her neighborhood.

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This summer's heat wave is making an annual bird invasion even worse.

Ruthie Powell's Pleasant Grove neighborhood is overrun by hundreds of egrets.

"They're everywhere, and the main thing is, they're dying over here," she said.

A few blocks from Spruce High School in Pleasant Grove, dead birds bake in the heat.

"It's a health issue because [of] the stink," Powell said. "We don't know what's in the air; we just don't know."

Egrets are protected under both state and federal law. Even their nests can't be destroyed, and breeding season is right now.

"They're coming into the neighborhood," Powell said. "They're coming into the yards. They're dying in the yards. They're looking for water. They're coming on our porches. They're leaving their feces all over the place."

Powell said she has asked the Environmental Protection Agency, the Texas Department of Health and other officials for help.

"I've called the Wildlife [Department], and they gave me a number to call for the egrets," she said. "They told me to get balloons and put [them] in the backyard."

After countless calls, she finally found someone who promised help, Powell said.

"They told me they were going to come out and pick up the dead birds," she said.

Powell said she also called the city's 311 line and the office of U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson.

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