HURST (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s an area packed with traffic, but you can’t hear it. Stores and restaurants are everywhere, but everyone’s eyes are focused on the sky.
A Hurst shopping center has become the latest spot occupied by grackles, starlings and sparrows.
There are scant trees so the birds are just roosting on cars.
They push each other for space on every available power line.
At times they are so thick on the ground it looks like the parking lot is moving.
Shoppers, some of them ducking while running to their cars, call it crazy, amazing, spooky.
“If they have success roosting in an area, don’t expect them to just give up on it without any kind of harassment,” said bird abatement expert Jeff Cattoor.
The birds are primarily gathering in the Market Street Village and adjacent Pipeline Village near the intersection of Pipeline and U.S. 820.
The Indiana management company in charge of the space wasn’t immediately available for comment Friday.
A spokesperson for The Shops at North East Mall across the street said they haven’t been a problem there, yet.
Several trees bordering the shops were full of birds Friday night.
The birds became a problem just a mile to the north at the Hurst city hall and police department four years ago.
Parks director Cody Maberry said noisemakers never worked.
Cattoor came in with a raptor though, the birds’ natural predator.
After a couple nights of hunting, the birds were gone, and have never come back.
It cost the city $1,900 but eliminated the problem.
Cattoor said the lack of predators in urban shopping centers seem to be the likely attraction for the birds.
There is usually also an ample food supply with restaurants nearby, and water from sprinkler systems.