Migratory Birds


Texas is a major route for migratory birds like egrets and herons traveling 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.

Check out our seasonal guide to help address this annual situation proactively:

Seasonal guide to nesting birds


  • Remove any old, abandoned nests.

  • Trim your trees. Remove deadwood and thin tree canopies 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, call 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 away birds as soon as you see them on or near your property:

    • Use noisemakers, spray water 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 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 the curb and call Solid Waste at 817-392-1234. Solid Waste will pick up dead birds that are bagged and on the curb Monday-Saturday.

Pre- and post-nesting season (November-February)

  • Destroy old and new nests before egg-laying.

  • Thin tree canopies to allow sunlight to shine between limbs and other trees.