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Battle Underway to Get Cattle Egrets to Leave W.F. Neighborhood

Cattle egrets moved into a Wichita Falls neighborhood two weeks ago and city crews are making noise to get them to move out.
Cattle egrets are now scouting out trees in Texoma to nest and the City of Wichita Falls wants you to keep your eyes open for them. The birds are loud and can be dangerous to aviation, which is why the city set up a number to call if you spot them.

A cluster of trees at Covington Drive and Duty Lane is home sweet home for these cattle egrets. They moved in about two weeks ago, which has Wichita Falls city crews clapping boards to try and get them to move out.

"Since they did nest here last year this is home basically and this is where they want to come back to," says Jeff Badder, supervisor with Wichita Falls Fleet Maintenance.

But their presence creates a hazard for pilots, both military and civilian.

"When they leave here they fly over SAFB runway to feed.  So, they constantly fly back and forth over the runway and that's a problem for both commercial and military aviation," Badder says.

So, to keep the birds from coming back, the city got permission from the landowner and both got together and cleared out this five acre tract of mesquite trees to get the birds to buzz off.

Unfortunately, these unwanted visitors so far are not getting the message they are not welcome.

"They just moved to the next five acre tract that's here," Badder adds.

Officials say when you remove the birds habitat they typically move to another area not just to the next patch of trees like they did here. Officials plan to keep making noise to scare them off and follow them and continue the scare tactics until the birds roost in an area that does not pose any danger to aviation.

The City of Wichita Falls has a number to call if you spot a nest of cattle egrets.

That number is 940-720-5000.
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