Migratory Birds in Grand Prairie

Texas is a major route for migratory birds shuttling between the United States and Canada. Grand Prairie has been faced with the challenge of managing the effects of egrets in our community's residential areas. Currently, only a few areas of Grand Prairie see migratory birds. 

Egrets Infographic

Effects of Migratory Birds in Your Neighborhood

While this natural cycle can be beautiful, the challenges of egrets and herons can be overwhelming and can cause health concerns.

SoundNoise: Migratory birds often make raspy, repeated calls throughout the year at the nest and the roost. These pack animals often give out calls to defend the nest and chatter calls to their mates.

Splat Excrement: Extensive fecal matter deposits caused by the birds can create health concerns. Deposits on houses, roofs, cars, streets, etc. can cause a host of issues, such as avian bird flu, salmonella, parasites, trichinosis and many other zoonotic diseases. The deposits can also cause roof damage and is corrosive to paint on homes and vehicles.

Smell

Odor: Due to the littering of excrement, along with bodies of deceased birds, migratory birds can cause a stink in the community. The birds also may drop the fish they collected to consume, causing an unpleasant smell. 

Federal Protection

Egrets became a federally protected species in the early 20th Century when they had been hunted nearly to extinction. They are protected status under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, which protects the birds from being killed, taken from the nest, picked up or possessed for any reason, and their feathers may not be possessed or sold.

What to do about Migratory Birds in Your Neighborhood

Due to federal laws, city staff is unable to address any issues while the birds are nesting and instead, asks for the community's help to keep the birds away from Grand Prairie neighborhoods.

Fall & Winter (October-February)

Prevention for Future Nests

  • Remove any old, abandoned nests.
  • Trim your trees. Remove deadwood, thin tree canopy to allow sunlight between limbs and other trees.
  • Destroy old and new nests before egg laying.
  • Before Egrets lay eggs, use a combination of scaring devices.

Winter (February-March)

Stay Alert

  • Check daily for birds and nesting material in your trees.
  • Begin scare tactics as soon as you see birds on or near your property.
    • Use noisemakers, water spray or shine lights at night.
    • Hang “scare eye” balloons or other moving objects in trees.
    • Use long poles, tennis balls or water hoses to disturb early nesting material.
  • Do not harm birds or eggs. Migratory birds are protected by international treaty. Once birds begin sitting on nests, eggs are probably present. You cannot kill, harass, move or disturb the birds during nesting season.

Spring & Summer (March – October)

Nesting Season

  • Do not kill, harass, relocate, move or attempt to scare away the birds by any means during nesting season.