neighborhood installing bird deterrent

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Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:12 pm
Location: Houston, TX

neighborhood installing bird deterrent

Postby ossnap » Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:52 pm

Looking for some advice. I've been working to build a purple martin colony for the past 3 years. First year was a bust. 2nd year I had 2 pair, and last year I had 8 out of my 12 gourds filled with at least 26 fledglings. My house is situated not far from a school and a park with a swimming pool. There is one house between me and the park area and the pool is probably 150-200 yards away. There were tons of oak trees surrounding the pool area and last year the neighborhood was overwhelmed by egrets roosting in the trees around that area by the pool. It was quite insane. They ended up having to close the pool due to the smell from the egrets pooping. Dead egrets could be found on the ground sometimes. Even an occasional dead fish was found dropped in the pool from the birds above. Anyways, this year my HOA decided this wasn't going to happen again. About half of the oak trees have been cut down to open up the area some. Now I have learned that they plan to install a couple of spray deterrent machines around the clubhouse by the pool. They are planning to spray methyl anthranilate into the air to help deter the egrets from returning. I am worried what this will do to the martins I have worked to attract? Any advice? Has anyone had experience with this chemical and know what sort of range it effects, etc. Any thoughts what I might be able to do. Maybe I'm out of range and everything will be fine but I will be pretty upset of this keeps my martins away.

Posts: 420
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 9:23 am
Location: tennesse
Martin Colony History: Started colony in 2014. First pair to stay and raise young in 2018.

Re: neighborhood installing bird deterrent

Postby jhcox » Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:27 pm

I would call the local wildlife officer in your area and see if it is even legal for them to do that or not. Just let them know and see what they say about it. They may inform them that it’s not legal to do it.

Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:12 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Re: neighborhood installing bird deterrent

Postby ossnap » Sat Jan 25, 2020 7:56 am

That is a good idea. Worth checking.

Posts: 1399
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

Re: neighborhood installing bird deterrent

Postby rrmartins » Sat Jan 25, 2020 8:29 am

Stupidest idea I’ve ever heard!! They would rather spray chemicals into the atmosphere, around a housing community, instead of cutting down trees around a swimming pool. Why would anybody want trees around a swimming pool anyway? WOW!!
7 pair
25 fledged
Rat breached bird netting and nearly wiped out entire colony over a four day period. Problem was fixed!!

Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:48 am
Location: Louisiana
Martin Colony History: Home Site 2015 & 2016 2 pairs, 2017 3 pairs
Public Park Site 2016 1 pair, 2017 28 pairs
Starting Middle School Site 1/2018, 12 gourds
Starting Elementary School Site 1/2018, 12 gourds

1/2017 Purple Martin Article in Baton Rouge Audubon Society's Newsletter
4/2017 Guest speaker at St. Bernard Bird Festival
5/2017 Purple Martin Article in Livingston Parish Newspaper
1/2018 Article to be included in PMCA Quarterly Magazine

Re: neighborhood installing bird deterrent

Postby K_Adams » Sat Jan 25, 2020 8:37 am

Absolutely check to see if it's legal for your HOA to spray chemicals to deter birds. I would also contact your local Audubon Society and Wildlife and Fisheries group. If you're in city limits, check your local ordinances. Many cities around me have an ordinance that designates the city as a bird sanctuary and birds inside the city limits are protected. Egrets are protected by the migratory bird treaty act. ... ty-act.php

Hope this helps.
Krista Adams

Posts: 417
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: 2016 - late to put up, many visitors
2017 - 1 pair, 3 fledged
2018- 2 pair, 12 fledged
2019 - 4 pair, 21 fledged
2020 - ?

Re: neighborhood installing bird deterrent

Postby Whippy » Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:53 am

Many years ago when I lived in Carrollton, tx there was an Egret rookery. One day. some genius went out there and bulldozed it. There were baby Egrets all over the place both dead and alive.

They got into big trouble for that one. had they waited for all birds to fledge they could have bulldozed it but to have destroyed the rookery is a big no no when occupied.

Wildlife laws may be on your side.

Carrollton City Manager Leonard Martin said he shares the residents’ pain.

Martin owns a lake house south of Dallas, and when he saw the fluffy birds coming he went into action — before they nested, as that’s a crucial legal point. Rubber snakes, plastic owls and balloons with painted eyes sprouted in the trees near his home.

“Once I did that they kind of moved away,” Martin said. “They were too nervous. The snakes never moved, but they weren’t going to risk it. A year later, the federal government slapped the city with a fine of $70,000 for multiple violations of the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. The city paid more than double that in legal fees and in rehabilitation of hundreds of injured and orphaned birds.

Reparations even included creating a wildlife preserve. “We planted a prairie to make amends,” said Martin, who wasn’t city manager at the time.

These are just a couple of quotes from an article on line. Google search Carrollton Egret Rookery and you'll see several articles.

There are ways to deter returning birds without the need for chemicals.


Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:12 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Re: neighborhood installing bird deterrent

Postby ossnap » Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:18 pm

Thanks for all of the suggestions. I plan to call the Texas Parks and Wildlife department, Houston Audubon Society, and the Texas Department of Agriculture on Monday to see what all they say.

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