Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version

April 1995


Native egrets (Egretta spp.) and herons (Nyticorax spp.) maintain rookeries throughout Oklahoma. With the appearance of cattle egrets (Bubulcus ibis) in North America, nuisance problems have occurred with the creation and expansion of rookeries near human populations. Egrets and herons, their nests, eggs, and rookery habitat are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Damage associated with Oklahoma rookeries are nuisance noise, nuisance odor, potential disease threats, decline of vegetation (guanotrophy), displaced fledglings, and air strike hazards. Proven nuisance rookery control includes habitat alterations (tree thinning), noise harassment with pyrotechnics and propane exploders, shooting to reinforce harassment activities, and nest destruction. Rookery management must give consideration to individuals directly affected, those indirectly affected in the surrounding area, and federal, state, and local governments.