Messy Summer Leads to Egret Prevention Measures

City of Carrollton hopes to stop messy birds from nesting on its streets

By Sara Story
|  Tuesday, Nov 8, 2011  |  Updated 4:44 PM CDT
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The City of Carrollton is taking action to keep an Egret invasion from happening again.

Sara Story, Denton Journalist

The City of Carrollton is taking action to keep an Egret invasion from happening again.

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The City of Carrollton is taking action to keep an egret invasion from happening again.

Hundreds of the messy birds nested in trees along Chamberlain Drive this summer, and the city was prohibited by law to do anything about it. They've come up with a plan to keep the birds from nesting in the same spot next year.

Residents said the egrets held them captive in their own homes all summer.

"[We] couldn't park our cars in the street, couldn't have guests over. There were no Memorial Day activities, no Fourth of July activities on this street, no family gatherings," resident Jeff Foster said. "When you have several hundred birds in these trees, the droppings are continuous."

Egrets are federally protected, so once they nested, the city's hands were tied.

"It's not something most cities have to deal with," city of Carrollton environmental services director Scott Hudson said.

The birds eventually left, and the city sent crews to clean the streets. Hudson said the city is now taking action to stop the birds from nesting in the same spot next year. They are encouraging residents to modify the birds' habitat.

"Thin out that tree canopy. Make sure the nests from last year are removed so birds don't have a leg up on getting started nesting," Hudson said.

The city is also urging people to use devices like "scare-eye balloons", reflective tape and air horns to scare the birds.

"I think this is a great step forward to them," Foster said.

The city of Carrollton is hosting an Egret Management Workshop Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at City Hall. They will be teaching residents tactics to keep the birds away.

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