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Egret and Heron

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Egrets and Herons are some of the most beautiful birds you will see, but when they nest they can also be some of the most destructive. Egrets and Herons are federally protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. What this means is the birds cannot be killed, or their nests disturbed when they have eggs or young.

Egrets and Herons come together and make a “rookery” which can be made up of a few dozen birds to thousands of birds. The rookery will grow as the adults and young return each year. The rookery has many challenges for residences such as excessive excrement, dead frogs, mice and birds, strong smell and orphaned young.

Egrets and Herons generally like to establish rookeries in high, established trees that that have limbs crossing over each other. The first birds to appear in rookeries in North Texas are the Black Crowned Night Herons and the Yellow Crowned Night Herons. They start establishing their nests around the first of February and breeding season extends through late July.

The next to arrive is the Great Heron which nests from early March to early August. The Little Blue Heron and Snowy Egret then set up shop from late March to early July. And finally, the Cattle Egret arrives in late April and stays until October. Since the arrival of the Cattle Egret to North America they have become the most abundant in many rookeries.

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