Migratory Birds

Snowy White Egret bird

Texas is a major route for migratory birds shuttling between the United States and Canada. This annual event can impact residential, commercial and industrial properties.

The nesting birds bring challenges such as noise, odor and significant amounts of excrement covering streets, sidewalks, cars and mailboxes on public and private property.

City staff is unable to address any of these issues while the birds are nesting due to their protected status under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. The city needs the help of its residents to address this situation proactively.

What to do about migratory birds in your neighborhood


  • Remove any old, abandoned nests.
  • Trim your trees. Remove deadwood, thin tree canopy to allow sunlight between limbs and other trees.


  • Familiarize yourself with migratory birds and which are the first to arrive, looking for good nesting places.
  • Find out how your neighborhood plans to distribute news of bird sightings.
  • For help contacting or organizing your neighborhood association, contact the Community Engagement Office at 817-392-6201.


  • Watch for “sentry” birds and report sightings to your neighbors.
  • Each species has a different breeding period. Be on the lookout for these birds beginning at these times:
    • February - Yellow-Crowned Night Heron
    • March - Cattle Egret, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, Little Blue Heron, Snowy Egret
  • Check daily for birds and nesting material in your trees.
  • Scare birds away as soon as you see birds on or near your property.
    • Use noisemakers, water spray or shine lights at night.
    • Use long poles, tennis balls or water hoses to disturb early nesting material.
    • Scary "eye" balloons work, if hung above the trees.

Nesting Season (March – October)

  • Do not harm birds or eggs. Migratory birds are protected by an international treaty. Once birds begin sitting on nests, eggs are probably present. You cannot kill, harass, move or disturb the birds during nesting season.
  • Bag dead birds, place on curb and call Solid Waste at 817-392-1234. Solid Waste will pick up dead birds that are bagged and placed on curb Monday–Saturday.

Pre and Post Nesting Season (November - February)

  • Destroy old and new nests before egg laying.
  • Thin tree canopy to allow sunlight to shine between limbs and other trees.



Lights Out Texas! 

Lights Out Texas is a campaign of education, awareness and action that focuses on turning out lights at night during the spring and fall migrations to help protect the billions of migratory birds that fly over Texas annually. 

In a collaborative effort to reduce migratory bird mortality, the City of Fort Worth, along with several other DFW cities, are encouraging all Texans to turn off non-essential lights at night from 11 p.m. - 6 p.m. during the fall migration period of August 15 through November 29. For more information, visit the Lights Out Texas website.