Nesting birds leave mess behind


Ben Prengler

The local Celebration Park has been damaged by nesting egrets.

Tory Heruska, Staff Reporter

The flock of migratory birds that recently made Celebration Park their home, caused significant damage throughout their stay, leaving the city of Allen to clean up what the birds left behind.

 “Practically everything in sight had droppings covering it,” assistant director of Allen parks and recreation Brian Bristow said. “The damage is noticeable.”

Anybody near the wooded area at the park can easily see the droppings, so the Allen Parks and Rec staff is doing everything that they can to clean up the area.

“The real challenge will be pulling the vacant nests out of the trees,” Bristow said. “It will be a few more months at least before we get the area fixed up.”

Bird droppings can be handled with sprayed water, raking, and sweeping, but the task is a difficult and time consuming one.

“There was evidence of the mortality rate of newborn infants, but it was nowhere near the normal rate,” Bristow said.

Newborn Cattle Egrets, the species that occupied the park, have a mortality rate of about 50 percent due to illness, starvation and predation according to Raymond C. Telfair’s article on Cattle Egrets.

The city is working with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department on the cleanup effort and the section of the park the egrets left damaged will remain closed until this work is complete.

“Egrets will likely try to return to the park next year, though the city will try their hardest to discourage the birds from nesting at Celebration again,” Bristow said.