Migratory Birds

Texas falls within the route between the United States and Canada for migratory birds. These birds  typically arrive between February and March and will begin looking for a place to nest, called “Roosting”. This activity can bring many challenges such as loud noise, strong smells, and a huge quantity of excrement that can cover sidewalks, streets, and public and private property alike. 

Cities are unable to address issues and concerns while birds nest as they are protected under the Migratory Birth Treaty Act of 1918, and thus it is crucial that residents act proactively.

Migratory bird in flight
Migratory Birds
Migratory birds in a nest

Typical timeline - what to do and when to do it

  • October – January
    Remove any old abandoned nests, trim trees, and remove deadwood to allow sunlight between limbs. 
  • January
    Familiarize yourself with types of migratory birds and determine how your neighborhood plans to distribute news of bird sightings. The first birds to arrive, often called “sentry” birds, are looking for good nesting places.
  • February – March
    Each species of migratory bird has a different breeding period; check regularly for birds and nesting materials in your trees. If you see birds on or near your property, spray water or shine lights at night to deter them from building new nests. You can also use long poles, tennis balls, or water hoses to disturb or remove early nesting material.
  • March – October
    This is the true nesting season and birds and eggs are not allowed to be harmed. At this point, any birds, eggs, or nests discovered are legally protected so you cannot kill, harass, move, or disturb them.