Migratory Bird Awareness: Help Prevent Your Property from Becoming a Nesting Site
Migratory birds, such as herons, egrets and other water birds, are often seen in Texas during their annual migration between the United States and Canada. These birds can bring a number of challenges during nesting/breeding season such as noise, odor, and health hazards including significant amounts of excrement. Residents may find it offensive when the birds' chosen nesting areas are near their homes and businesses.
Once eggs are laid, these birds are federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, preventing interference of any kind by residents or the City of Coppell. However, there are some actions residents can take before and after breeding season to deter the birds from nesting in the area.
Before Nesting Season Begins (Typically January to March)
- Be on the look out for "sentry" birds - the first birds to arrive looking for ideal nesting sites for the flock. Report sightings to your neighbors and to the City of Coppell!
- Familiarize yourself with the different migratory birds found in Texas. Each species has a different breeding period. See pictures below of birds common to this area with basic descriptions along with breeding months.
- Use a combination of scare tactics before eggs are laid such as hanging helium balloons or other moving objects in trees, disturbing early nesting material with long poles, tennis balls or water spray and using noisemakers to deter the birds.
- Please take care while using scare tactics. Do not kill or injure the birds.
During Nesting Season (Typically March to October)
- Once birds begin sitting on nests, eggs are probably present. Do not kill, harass, relocate, move or attempt to scare away the birds by any means during nesting season. These birds are federally protected.
If a Rookery (Group Nesting Site) Is Established
- Continue normal maintenance of your property including mowing and watering without intentionally disturbing the birds or their nests.
- Regularly power wash or spray down your sidewalks, patios and other affected areas to clear away bird waste.
- Do not attempt to handle birds. If you see a dead bird, please contact Coppell Animal Services at 972-304-3515 and they will pick it up.
After Nesting Season Has Ended (Typically October to January)
- Remove old nests from trees.
- Give trees a good trim and thin the tree canopy to allow sunlight between limbs and other trees.
- Help out elderly neighbors or those with special needs with nest clean up and tree trimming.
- Be aware and report these bird sightings in late winter/early spring to the City of Coppell. They may not seem like a problem at the time, but they can settle in anywhere and become a nuisance quickly!