FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – They’re back. This time in another North Texas city.
Egrets, known by many for the trouble they caused a Carrollton neighborhood have made a new home in Fort Worth.
The birds, who are notoriously destructive, moved into the once quiet neighborhood about a month ago and have already left their mark on Richard Steed’s home.
“I have to pretty much daily spray the driveway and the walkways, the smell is not too nice,” Steed said. “It’s probably worse than a zoo. I don’t think a zoo has this many birds.”
Homeowners say the it seemed like the birds moved in almost overnight. Experts say the birds scout a location and move in quickly.
“While they are moving in, you have some options to harass them, but as soon as they have an active nest established, legally you can’t touch them,” said Brett Johnson, an urban biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife.
The period of time when they move in and build a nest is very short, so homeowners must be aware as soon as they see the first sign of egrets.
For Steed, it’s too late. “I counted 85 nests up there in my yard,” he said.
Despite their reputation for destruction, the birds are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the likelihood of amending the law is slim.
“To make any adjustments to this act, you have to get the agreement of other nations, not just the United States, so it’s fairly difficult to get it changed,” Johnson said.
Meanwhile, homeowners like Steed, have to grin and bear it as the birds take over the mature oak trees in the neighborhood.
The birds leave a large amount of fecal matter which has killed part of Steed’s grass in the front yard.
Neighborhoods that have dealt with the birds before, like a neighborhood in Carrollton, took it upon themselves this year to thin their trees and used loud noises to scare off the birds and so far it’s worked.
Steed says he’s already planning on executing some of those tactics next year.
“We’ll be ready for them next year,” he said.