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Eggs In A Nest Stop Plan To Remove Birds Threatening The People Flying Overhead

David Martin Davies
Texas Public Radio

The plan seemed simple enough. City officials determined that cattle egrets roosting on an island in Elmendorf Lake posed a threat to flights overhead. So crews would be sent in to scare them off and cut down the trees the birds called home. But life got in the way.

Workers found three eggs in one nest on Thursday, according to a city statement. So on Friday the city halted the removal project, and the egrets received a reprieve of several months.

In accordance with state and federal wildlife laws, city officials said they must wait until the eggs hatch and the chicks can leave the nest before workers resume the project.

City officials said the birds threatened the flight path of Lackland Air Force Base and the former Kelly Air Force Base, now Port of San Antonio.

One hundred bird strikes with aircraft were reported in 2018, according to a city statement.

The city has been seeking public input on how to best rid the island of the birds, which are a city-dwelling species of Heron, and now, members of the public will still be able to contribute thoughts on how to resolve the situation.

Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at Brian@TPR.org and on Twitter at @TPRBrian.