Every year from March to October dozens of birds – snowy egrets, gray herons, great blue herons and black herons – return to the same single ficus tree in Pico Rivera to nest and lay their eggs. While the visiting marine birds are quite keen on their leafy time share, the locals are not and city officials have made plans to remove the 50 foot tree, the Whittier Daily News reports.
…Residents living below…say they are fed up with the marine birds they find on the street every day and the endless sound of avian droppings…“It’s like you’re in the jungle,” [said one resident], “the noises that they make are unfamiliar to the city.”
Although there is concern about where they’ll go once the tree is gone, the city thinks the herons, which are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, will be better off elsewhere. Many of the nestlings fall from the tree and end up on the road below where they fall victim to traffic and neighborhood cats.
For the birds themselves, perhaps an unsafe home is better than no home at all, but if their neighbors won’t have them, let’s hope there’s a big blooming ficus tree in a park nearby where the herons can raise their chicks – and make all the noise and guano they want.