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NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – It may be February, but it’s not too early for North Texans to prepare of the annual invasion of migratory birds — and the problems some of them can bring.

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Carrollton Animal Services is already on the hunt for leftover nests, that according to director Carl Shooter. He says last year’s nests may become this year’s attractive nuisance.

“We want to get them away from the trees or harass them before they start nesting,” Shooter said of the birds, as he and assistant Vanessa Johnson removed a nest from one resident’s tree. “Once one pair starts to nest they usually attract several other pairs.”

And if migratory birds lay eggs, federal law prohibits moving them. Period. Carrollton has a history of problems, especially with Cattle Egrets and Herons.

Ask Scott Braughn about 2011. “The debris was anywhere from two to four inches deep,” he recalled, adding, “We had to use umbrellas to check our mail. That’s how consistent the droppings were.”

Now, every February Braughn patrols his and neighboring streets. Besides locating nests, he is trained and authorized to use pistol-fired fireworks called screamers and bangers to shoo birds toward open, undeveloped areas. The city can also bring in propane cannons.

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Of course, your homeowners association might take a dim view of your using something like that on a regular basis, but the city of Carrollton has a package of materials that has other steps that still work, according to Shooter.

“We have a scare eye balloon; these are effective but if you hang them in one place and leave them there the entire year they’re probably less effective. If you notice birds roosting in the tree we can use air horns (that come in the package). A pretty loud noise will scare them off.”

There is also reflecting tape that can be streamed out ribbon-like, so the sun will disturb the birds.

Other cities are taking notice of Carrollton’s lead. Paul Bacarraza of Irving Animal Services told CBS 11 News, “We’re working with the city of Carrollton, this is something new to us so they’re educating us more on the steps we can take.”

The cities don’t want to harm the migratory birds, but to move them along. Both Irving and Carrollton say one early sign is lots of twigs on the ground under trees. And, of course, more noticeable bird droppings or noise. The cities urge homeowners to trim their trees’ canopies to let in a lot of sunlight.

The sun seems to annoy the bigger Egrets and Herons, but not the much more welcome songbirds.

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