Texas town working hard to keep egrets away

An egret in a tree in Carrollton, Texas. CBSDFW.COM

CARROLLTON, Texas The past few years several neighborhoods in the North Texas city of Carrollton have been bombarded with thousands of egrets, reports CBS affiliate DFW.

An estimated 4,000 adult egrets in 2011 found a home in trees lining a street. The birds stained the street, sidewalks, and made it hazardous for neighbors to even go outside.

"It was so bad we had an umbrella, gloves, safety glasses, and a carbon filter mask," said Allison Baughn.

This year Baughn has trimmed her trees, hung reflective deterrent balloons, and has sounded an air horn whenever she spots a bird.

Egrets are creatures of habit and will return to nest in the same tree year after year.

Carrollton's environmental director Scott Hudson said, "Our goal is to disrupt that nesting pattern enough so we don't have a repeat of that high concentration of nesting that created such a nuisance in the neighborhood."

For the next month twice a day city animal service workers will check more than a 150 trees for nests in targeted neighborhoods.

On Wednesday they used a propane cannon to scare the birds away. The timing of the city's nest abatement program is crucial because once the birds lay eggs federal law protects them.

The loud noises must then stop and nests cannot be torn-down.

Neighbors say if it reaches that point, the birds will once again takeover.

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