The Colony city leaders have regrets over lack of prep for egrets

The Colony city leaders may be expressing some regrets about egrets.

The problem is manifesting in a neighborhood in The Colony. Egrets, a protected species, must be dealt with before they nest. Since that didn’t happen, they’ve now become a noisy, messy nuisance.

City leaders met Tuesday night to discuss their options, if any, and make plans for the future.

It was a bit of an airing of grievances for residents because the fact of the matter is there isn't a whole lot they can do due to federal laws on the books.

The city has been trying to figure it out themselves since it started and brought in an expert biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife on Tuesday who basically said there isn't much that can be done until next year.                     

“Unfortunately, we're in that situation in The Colony where eggs have been laid, and we're very limited in what we can do at this point,” explained Rachel Richter with Texas Parks and Wildlife.

The problem is impacting three streets all near Pemberton Lane in The Colony. Pemberton Lane has the worst of the mess. The streets are painted white with bird droppings. They are loud and smelly.

Egrets setting up their colonies, known as Rookeries, is an issue that's plagued other North Texas cities before, infamously in Arlington and Carrollton. This is the first year they have had it bad in The Colony.

Other cities have started techniques to harass birds with loud noises and bright objects before the birds nest in the spring. Some even handed out supplies to residents.

The Colony city leaders are now discussing what can be done next year because rookeries tend to return to the same place and return in even bigger numbers. Talking about next year, though, is little consolation to residents who have literally moved their kids to the back of the house away from front windows so that they can sleep.

Some residents who dealt with a massive rookery in Carrollton showed up to urge council to take the problem seriously and empathize with residents. The city also plans to hold a town hall in the near future to try and answer more resident questions.

City staff said they weren't ready this year, but they plan to be ready next year and for every year in the near future to stop it from happening.       

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