Tips and Tools to Prevent Egret Nuisances

  March 5, 2024

Protected Egrets Looking for Nesting Sites: Please be advised that migrating birds may be attempting to settle on private property north of the Patterson and Torcido area. Egrets, specifically cattle egrets and snowy egrets, flock in very large numbers once a roosting site is established, typically in tall, dense trees. When they choose a site in a residential area, this can present problems to homeowners and neighbors from the noise, stench, and damage to vegetation, roofs, and sidewalks caused by their droppings. Egrets and other migratory birds are protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treat Act. It is illegal to shoot, hunt, capture, kill, or harm migratory birds.

If Egrets Appear at Your Private Property: If scout egrets begin to settle at your private property, it is strongly recommended to deter the birds by legal means before more egrets arrive and establish nests. Once egrets start nesting and producing eggs, they are protected under federal law. Property owners may be able to make loud noises and sounds – by legal means – to encourage the birds to relocate elsewhere. Using tools like air horns, loud bells, and banging pots and pans to produce loud noises, hanging bright streamers in trees, water nozzles, and “scare eye ballons” are common tactics to scare away birds. These activities should be performed as soon as scout birds are seen on one’s property.

For more information, please contact City of Alamo Heights’ Cindy Pruitt, Deputy Police Chief, at 210-832-2217.