City gives tips to keep migratory birds off your property

WICHITA, Kan. They're noisy. They can be smelly and they leave a mess behind.

It's that time of the year when larger migratory birds like egrets start looking for new places to nest and lay their eggs.

The City of Wichita wants you to get ahead of the problem this year because once these migratory birds lay eggs, you cannot bother them. Egrets are federally protected.

Michael Satterfield says his backyard in west Wichita sounded like a jungle last summer, with thousands of birds nesting in his trees. There were also issues with the smell and a mess left behind.

His swimming pool became an oasis for the birds full of bird droppings and debris.

"It was gross and nasty," he says. "Like I said, it smelled. "I didn't even want to come out in the backyard."

His neighbor, Corey Evans describes the situation as "horrible."

"They would carry fish over and drop them, and then they would just leave them there, so there was dead fish everywhere," he says.

Neighbors cut down some trees, hoping it would be enough to keep the birds away this year.

But last year's nests remain in the trees left standing, and now the birds are starting to come back to Satterfield's neighborhood.

"They're a protected species and you can't really do anything to harass them or harm them or anything like that once they start nesting in their nest," he says.

Ahead of this summer, Satterfield says he will do whatever it legally takes to get rid of the birds before they nest and destroy his yard again.

The City of Wichita says now is the time to take preventative action to deter the birds from making themselves home on your property, because once they start laying eggs, there is nothing that can be done.

The city says noise is the best deterrent, including noise makers like an air horn or pots and pans. The city also recommends checking the trees at least twice per day and reminds you that you are not allowed to do anything to harm the birds.