In ongoing efforts to deter migratory birds from re-establishing rookeries in neighborhoods that were impacted last year, the City is utilizing numerous methods, including portable sound systems and "banger" noisemakers.
The portable sound systems with speakers will be installed in trees at locations where the returning birds are being spotted as most prevalent this season. The speakers emit sounds of injured and/or predatory birds. Research and field experience in other cities have shown these naturally recorded, species-specific distress calls are effective in helping deter birds from nesting nearby. The systems are portable, and may be moved as needed to other locations if increased bird activity warrants the need. They will be on timers to play these sounds from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Reporters from NBC5 and WFAA recently rode along with staff for a pair of stories (NBC story, WFAA story) that explain the situation and outlines the deterrence methods being implemented.
The City is also continuing to patrol neighborhoods daily and deploy the “banger” and “screamer” noisemakers being used in recent weeks as needed between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. Staff uses noisemakers when scout birds are present in an attempt to deter the birds from nesting. Residents should be aware that these items are intended to be very loud, and could possibly mimic the sound of a gunshot. Additionally, the launcher for these noise makers has a similar shape to that of a small pistol. Staff will always be wearing a safety vest and driving a City vehicle when taking these deterrent measures. Noisemakers will not be fired directly at birds. The intent is merely to scare and deter the birds from nesting in the area.
We encourage all residents throughout the city who live on streets with heavily canopied trees to get their trees limbed up high and thin out canopies, as a community wide prevention effort.
Those who are seeing birds in their trees can contact the Parks & Recreation Department to obtain an egret deterrent starter kit to be hung in the trees after they are limbed up. Residents who have done this already are seeing success in deploying these deterrent tactics. The birds most frequently being seen now are in trees that have not been thinned and do not have deterrent items hanging in the trees. Your help in watching for these scout birds is appreciated in order to help ensure that egrets do not nest in your neighborhood. More information is available on the Migratory Birds page of our website or by calling 972-625-1106.