Allen Parks and Recreation has begun preventive measures, including surveillance of dense tree canopies and periodic noisemaking deterrents, to discourage migratory bird settlement at Celebration Park and Stacy Ridge Park.
If cattle egrets or night herons are sighted in Allen, the prevention efforts will then switch to the use of “percussive” devices that produce a loud bang.
These devices sound similar to fireworks or gunfire and residents should not be alarmed. This measure must begin immediately upon a cattle egret sighting and may not provide an opportunity for advance notification to the surrounding neighborhoods, though communication efforts will be made to keep the public informed.
Migratory birds such as egrets and herons are commonly seen in Texas. As important as these waterbirds are to habitats that can support them, they may also bring devastating challenges such as noise, odor and other significant environmental impacts.
Allen’s preventative measures follow best practice guidelines from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and damage from large nesting sites have previously cost the City of Allen thousands of dollars in environmental clean-up. The best way to avoid the residential and environmental impact is to prevent the birds from establishing their nests at all.
Remember: once a single egg is found the nesting site becomes protected, under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.
For more information, please call the Allen Parks and Recreation Department at 214.509.4700. To report possible sightings of cattle egrets, night herons or other major migratory bird activity, please visit the online help desk.
What YOU can do to help
There are several measures that area residents and businesses can take to help prevent the establishment of nesting sites in our area.
- Research and learn to recognize cattle egrets and yellow-crowned night herons.
- Report sightings to the Parks and Recreation Department using MyAllen.
- Ensure your trees are trimmed to allow sunlight to shine through; it may also be helpful to create a separation between tree canopies.
- Remove ALL old nesting material that does not contain eggs from your trees.
- Help communicate migratory bird awareness with your friends and neighbors during nesting season.