The egrets of Arlington are not showing any signs of moving on. Hundreds of the large migratory birds have made their nests in a Northwest Arlington neighborhood.
Their droppings cover everything and their calls fill the air, making for a smelly, noisy mess for neighbors. The birds are federally-protected while they’re nesting so they can’t be moved now. But the city has a plan to keep them from coming back next year.
Arlington Animal Services will be handing out go-bags with air horns, water hose attachments to spray them out of trees and balloons printed with big scary eyes.
"We're going to try filling these with helium so they're above the trees, so when they come in they go whoo! That is not good and fly off," said Ray Rentschler, Field Operations Administrator for Arlington Animal Services. "I'm hoping they go along a creek, maybe up the Trinity River that would be really nice to have the rookery up there. Or preferably Grand Prairie, sorry Grand Prairie!"
But for now, Animal Services is helping the ones who have already made the neighborhood home. They’re scooping up babies that fall from the trees and taking them to the Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Hutchins, where they’re expertly cared for.
Director Kathy Rogers has been recuperating injured wild birds for 30 years.
“This is baby bird season so we get anywhere from 20 to 40 babies a day in,” Rogers said.
Right now, her center is inundated with egrets. She understands what a nuisance they can be but reminds us nature was here first.
“Because humankind has destroyed their natural nesting areas forcing them, like all other wildlife, into urban settings, it’s kind of incumbent on us to do what we can do for them,” Rogers said.
Rogers says it costs about $250 a day to care for each egret and they generally keep them for a couple of months.
MORE: The center counts on donations. If you’d like to help, head to: http://www.rogerswildlife.org/index.php