CARROLLTON (CBSDFW.COM) – The egrets that have dogged a Carrollton neighborhood since May appear to have left a foul mess in their wake.
“The stained streets, the poo, the regurgitation in the lawns,” resident Scott Baughn said, trailing off.
The city of Carrollton will finally sanitize the street on Chamberlain Drive Wednesday morning. The egrets nested in the trees above for months, bathing the street in waste and causing much noise throughout the day.
It finally appears the birds have left their nests.
“I’m happy about it,” Baughn said.
City officials sent residents a letter telling them the Texas Parks and Wildlife department has confirmed the egrets’ nesting cycle is “substantially complete.”
Neither the city nor residents on Chamberlain Drive could disturb the nesting egrets, which are protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code.
Merely disturbing the nests can lead to a fine of $500 and six months in jail, and the city of Carrollton was fined $70,000 in 1998 for destroying an egret nesting area.
But further ruffling residents’ feathers is the fact they cannot remove the nests for another month until the U.S. Fish and Wildlife department, a federal agency certifies that it won’t harm the birds.
“There’s maybe one or two stragglers left. We should be able to start the cleanup versus have to live with all the nests in the tree and reminder of what we’ve gone through,” resident Allison Baughn said.
In the meantime, residents are looking into their arsenal for next year.
Mike Brown found a sound machine that claims to keep birds from nesting through a noise only they can hear or through the noise of a distressed bird call.
The machine, reportedly used by airports, costs more than $600.
“I know at least four families that would probably pitch in,” Brown said, laughing. “Anything to keep the birds away.”
One homeowner trying to sell his house is fighting back by changing his mailbox. He changed it from black to white.
The next thing residents want to change is the law enacted in 1918, which, they say, made them give up their rights. The city says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife department will oversee the street clean-up Wednesday.
Residents say they’ll be waiting for them to ask why they can’t inspect the area for certification Wednesday during the street cleanup.