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Carrollton Can’t Touch Invading Egrets Despite Health, Property Risks

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CARROLLTON (CBSDFW.COM) – It didn’t matter that a group of irritated residents spoke up at Tuesday’s City Council meeting about losing their neighborhood to hundreds of birds. City leaders told them their hands were tied, these egrets are federally protected migratory birds.

“The feedback we’re getting at this point is we just kind of have to hold fast until the end of the nesting cycle, and determine what we can do next year to prevent this nesting from occurring again,” said city employee Carol Shooter.

An egret is a bird related to herons, and hundreds of them have moved into the trees along three city blocks near Chamberlain Drive and Addington Street. Before Tuesday’s meeting, residents dodged bird bombs. It’s what they’ve done every day since March, when the egrets moved in.

“We’re all incurring more expenses due to these birds and are essentially prisoners in our own homes. Since we’re the ones paying the taxes and not the birds, who’s gonna help us?” Allyson Baughn told city council members.

For weeks, residents have begged for help. But the city is powerless: If they do anything to the birds, they face steep federal and state fines.

“We have to tiptoe around here to get our mail. I’m standing out here hoping I don’t get bombed right now,” resident Jeff Foster said.

“I just got pooed on again!” said Scott Baughn, another resident.

Shooter was one of the men with the city of Carrollton who went door to door delivering the updates.

Foster wasn’t happy with the news.

“No! We’re not excited to receive this type of information from the city for what we can do next March!” he said.

Neighbors say the egrets have infested 27 oak trees, making residents in 14 houses feel like they’re the ones who’ve been trapped.

“The birds are protected for their habitat. This is our habitat and the city is giving us no protection or relief at all,” Foster said.

The city gave residents a tip sheet on how to avoid health risks associated with bird droppings.
The city also told residents, next year they can try to prevent the birds from nesting by putting fake owls and fake snakes in their trees.

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