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Carrollton Residents Fighting Egret Migration

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CARROLLTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Egrets and Herons are back in North Texas. For one Carrollton neighborhood, that can only mean one thing – the battle is on.

Residents are trying to prevent the infestation and mess the birds created last year.  This year, they’re armed with special ammunition.

Robert Kuntzen has a slingshot that shoots tennis balls. It’s a dog toy, but perfect for scaring birds out of his trees.  He aims at a branch and fires. “Thwap!” The tennis balls strikes a branch and a Heron flies out.  “It was sitting there the whole time,” he said.

Last year, the Herons and the Egrets took Addington and Chamberlain drives as a nesting ground, bombing residents’ homes and holding them captive for months.

“The worst one is the pure white one, the Cattle Egret. They were here by the hundreds. I had hundreds here,” he said.

Allison Baughn knows their call. “It’s kind of like KAWH! Kind of like that but a lot sharper,” she said.

Seeing them and hearing them again gives her the shivers.  “After going through what we went through last year, it just sends chills,” she said.

The City of Carrollton gave the residents kits containing bird deterrents like air horns and bright yellow balloons with big round circles on them that mimic eyes.

Baughn carries a bag with dog food in it.  She uses it for ammunition in her own slingshot.

Jeff Foster likes the air horns. “We want to let them know, you’re not going to be comfortable on Addington Drive or Chamberlain Drive. Go somewhere else!” he said.

Residents can harass the federally protected birds as long as the birds don’t lay any eggs. That’s why residents are trying to keep them from building any nests.

The City of Carrollton comes out to help for a couple of hours every night.

Residents take turns scaring the birds from morning to night.  Their battle is expected to last several weeks.

“We’re not going to have them in our neighborhood. They’re going to have to go somewhere. Hopefully It’s not another residential area. Because I would not wish that on my worst enemy,” Baughn said.

Residents say even if they’re successful in preventing the birds from nesting on their streets this year, they’ll have to make sure the birds don’t try to come back next year or the year after that.

But if there’s one good thing that come out of all of this, it’s that the neighborhood has banded together.

“I know a whole lot more of my neighbors now,” Baughn said.

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