An investigation has been launched after dozens of migratory birds were discovered injured or dead in an area being used as a breeding ground by the protected species.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department called the Houston SPCA’s Wildlife Center of Texas to assist in rescuing more than seventy great blue herons and great egrets on Friday, May 13.
The rescue occurred in the 19700 block of Cherrywood Bend Lane in the Town Lake neighborhood in Cypress. The Houston SPCA reported that several birds were found alive inside a trash bag that also contained dead birds after a tree trimming company cut down trees where the birds had built nests.
According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the team found 67 dead birds on the property and 71 injured and or orphaned juvenile Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets.
The Injuries included broken wings, mangled legs, and internal injuries suffered after their nesting area had been disrupted.
Seventeen of the 71 birds initially found alive were euthanized due to the severity of their injuries.
Houston SPCA says Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is conducting an investigation into the bird deaths and injuries.
Texas Game Wardens said the property owner and tree trimming company will be held accountable.
“Their fines could add up thousands of dollars, multiple Class C violations, plus the civil restitution,” said Texas Game Warden Jaime Hill.
The surviving birds are receiving treatment by veterinarians at the Wildlife Center of Texas. Once they are rehabilitated, they will be released back into the wild.
Egrets and herons are migratory birds and are protected by state law, in addition to being federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) which protects 1,000 species. Under the MBTA, it is illegal to kill, injure, or capture the protected birds.
The Wildlife Center of Texas cares for hundreds of different species every year. To learn more or to support the organization’s rescue and rehabilitation work, visit Wildlife Center of Texas online.
For information on how to handle the birds you visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department at https://tpwd.texas.gov/warden/