“We’re trying to get on it early, because [egrets] can cause a lot of damage,” Sullivan said said of the attempt to get the egrets to relocate. “Once they are in [and nesting and breeding], they are protected.”
The police and fire departments want to take a preventative measure to keep the birds from nesting, he said.
A Texas Parks and Wildlife Department code protects the egrets, a species of heron, from being killed, owned, sold or disturbed at breeding sites, he said. All species of egret and heron in Texas are subject to the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
A federal permit from the Texas Wildlife Damage Management Service is required to remove birds or nests or modify the nesting habitat, he said.
Already, the birds are making a nuisance of themselves at area businesses. They have made a roost in trees at First Financial Bank, for instance. One tree in front of the bank building seems to be a very popular spot: the sidewalk and grounds under the tree are littered with droppings and feathers.
“This is the first year we’ve had any issues with them,” said Eddie Gregory, senior vice president at First Financial.
“They’re driving us crazy. They are really tearing the trees up and the sidewalks are terrible.”
The bank has checked in with places to see what could be done, he said, and he’s happy to hear police the police and fire departments are trying to help. “There’s really nothing we can do.”