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Animal Care & Control

Migratory Birds (Egrets/Herons)

blue heron

View the types of migratory birds seen in Texas.

Texas is a major route for migratory birds shuttling between the United States and Canada. This annual event can impact residential, commercial and industrial properties. Currently, one of our communities is being affected by nesting egrets and herons.

The nesting birds bring challenges such as noise, odor and significant amounts of excrement covering streets, sidewalks, cars and mailboxes on public and private property.

City staff is unable to address any of these issues while the birds are nesting due to their protected status under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. The city needs the help of its residents to address this situation proactively.

What to do about migratory birds in your neighborhood

October-January

  • Remove any old, abandoned nests.
  • Trim your trees. Remove deadwood, thin tree canopy to allow sunlight between limbs and other trees.

January

  • Familiarize yourself with “sentry” birds. They are the first to arrive, looking for good nesting places.
  • Find out how your neighborhood plans to distribute news of bird sightings.
  • For help contacting or organizing your neighborhood association, contact the Neighborhood Education Office at 817-392-6201 or by email.

February-March

  • Watch for “sentry” birds and report sightings to your neighbors.
  • Each species has a different breeding period. Be on the lookout for these birds beginning at these times:
    • February - Yellow-Crowned Night Heron
    • March - Cattle Egret, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, Little Blue Heron, Snowy Egret
  • Check daily for birds and nesting material in your trees.
  • Begin scare tactics as soon as you see birds on or near your property.
    • Use noisemakers, water spray or shine lights at night.
    • Hang “scare eye” balloons or other moving objects in trees.
    • Use long poles, tennis balls or water hoses to disturb early nesting material.
  • Do not harm birds or eggs. Migratory birds are protected by international treaty. Once birds begin sitting on nests, eggs are probably present. You cannot kill, harass, move or disturb the birds during nesting season.

Nesting Season (March – October)

  • Do not kill, harass, relocate, move or attempt to scare away the birds by any means during nesting season 
  • Bag dead birds, place on curb and call Solid Waste at 817-392-1234. Solid Waste will pick up dead birds that are bagged and placed on curb Monday–Saturday 

Pre and Post Nesting Season (November - February)

  • Destroy old and new nests before egg laying 
  • Utilize a combination of scaring devices before Egrets lay eggs 
  • Air Horns 
  • Scare-eye type balloons or other visual deterrents 
  • Water Hose 
  • Habitat Modification 
  • Thin tree canopy to allow sunlight to shine between limbs and other trees

More Information

Species

  • Cattle Egret
  • Yellow-Crowned Night Heron
  • Snowy Egret
  • Great Egret
  • Blue Heron

View more information on these species » 

Contacts

Fort Worth Parks & Community Services
District Superintendent
817-392-5763

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Division of Migratory Bird Management:
703-358-1714

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Fort Worth Office:
817-831-3128

 

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