WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — City officials with Wichita Falls will begin Wednesday using methods like setting off propane cannons and clappers to make noise to relocate egrets birds that pose a threat to commercial, and military aviation and aircraft operations in Wichita Falls.
According to officials with the Wichita Falls Public Information Office, cattle egrets nest along Highway 79 and Stone Lake Drive, and officials are hoping to relocate the birds because of the danger they can cause. Officials first noticed the birds began nesting in early spring 2020.
Because the birds are protested under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, city officials cannot remove them from the area after they begin to nest, but officials hope they can prevent more from nesting in the area.
The Federal Aviation Administration has estimated that the cost associated with bird strike damage to civil aircraft could be as high as $957 million per year in the United States. Studies have also shown that 106 people have died worldwide over the last twenty years due to bird strikes.
Officials state the Federal Fish and Wildlife suggests this is the safest and most effective solution is to disperse and haze the egrets.
City officials first started working on this in March 2020 when officials began clearing brush to discourage nesting of egrets.
The cost of the rehabilitation will be paid for using funds generated from the City of Wichita Falls Airport activities. As a result, there will be no tax funds used to mitigate this problem.