WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Cattle egrets are once again causing problems for aviation in Wichita Falls.
According to the City of Wichita Falls, Cattle egrets have made their home in the southeast portion of Wichita Falls near Bonny Drive.
“These birds are a threat to general, commercial, and military aviation in Wichita Falls. The impact of birds on aircraft can cause extensive damage to an aircraft, with the potential for crashes and loss of life,” Chris Horgen from the city of Wichita Falls said.
The birds are flying over Kickapoo Downtown Airport and Sheppard AFB/Wichita Falls Regional Airport while going to and from feeding sites.
A Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) is being issued to advise pilots in the local area that there is an
increased bird strike threat, due to this roost.
In a media release, Horgen said that the City of Wichita Falls staff has been working with Sheppard AFB and federal wildlife officials to come up with solutions to the problem.
The agencies determined that the safest and most effective solution is to use propane cannons and pyrotechnics to disperse the egrets from this location.
They will start dispersal methods on May 9, 2023, from 6 p.m. until 8:45 p.m. and will happen daily until the birds move to a new location.
According to the City of Wichita Falls, the last Cattle egret strike known to have occurred in Wichita Falls was in July 2013, resulting in the ejection of two Sheppard AFB pilots and the complete loss of a T-38 aircraft, valued at $8 million.