Migratory Birds (Egrets / Herons)

Update as of March 19, 2018:  
In order to prevent cattle egrets from nesting in Allen, Parks and Recreation staff have started extra surveillance at known locations of previous sites. If cattle egrets are observed more frequently and in larger numbers, staff will immediately deploy noise making deterrents. It is not possible to provide advance warning to surrounding neighborhoods at the time the noise making deterrents must be used; however, notification will be provided through use of park signage. Noisemakers will sound like this sample

These loud noise making deterrents will be used by Parks and Recreation Staff until the threat of nesting has passed. 

Typically, the threat of an egret nesting site remains high through mid-May so extra surveillance and/or additional efforts will remain in effect through that time, or until Parks staff is confident the threat of nesting has passed.

You can read more about how to identify these birds further down on this page or contact us for more information or if you have questions. 

We will update this page with more relevant information about ongoing efforts should they be needed. 
  1. Protection
  2. What Can You Do?
  3. About Migratory Birds

Protecting Public Parks and Greenbelts

The devastation caused by large nesting sites such as the ones we have experienced in Allen can be tremendous. In 2013-2014, hundreds of homeowners and families were affected, two of our most beautiful parks sustained substantial environmental damage, and thousands of dollars in clean-up costs were incurred. You can learn more about the previous nesting sites by reading the brief history of Cattle Egrets in Allen.

It is important to remember that once a single egg is found in a single nest, these sites become protected under federal law and everyone, City staff and residents, is prohibited from interfering or harassing the birds. The best way to avoid the residential and environmental impact that can occur is to prevent the birds from establishing their nests at all. 

Predicting where migratory birds will ultimately choose to nest is nearly impossible. However, since these birds typically attempt to return to the same site as the previous year, that is where Parks and Recreation staff will focus their surveillance and preventative efforts first. In addition, staff has completed a review of the entire park system in Allen and identified other areas of possible concern. Those areas will also be closely monitored with available staff.