Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation: Injured, dying egrets increase in Brackenridge Park

Wildlife rescue volunteers retrieve up to 6 birds daily

By Jessie Degollado - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Twice daily, volunteers with Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation patrol around a rookery in Brackenridge Park to search for displaced, injured or dying migratory birds, most of which are federally protected egrets.

“They find up to six a day,” said Aleida Fuentes Boles, WRR spokeswoman. “So far this year, 262 have been brought back to our intake center on Basse Road.”

She said the rescue saw only about a 100 of the birds last year.

To find out the reason for the increase, U.S. Fish and Wildlife has been asked to test and analyze bird specimens, Boles said.

She said it’s not known if a spray that was used temporarily by San Antonio Parks and Recreation to try to keep the birds away was a factor

“It has been used intermittently for a year, but not in operation for at least two months," said Whitney Atkins, spokeswoman for Parks and Recreation.

Boles said to help educate the public, WRR wants to put up signs, similar to those Realtors put in front yards, with information on where to call -- 830-336-2725 -- or bring any birds people find to 1354 Basse Road.

Homer Garcia III, assistant director of Parks and Recreation, told Boles that he’d certainly consider it after first checking with the city archeologist to ensure sensitive areas at the park are protected.

Boles said similar signs were taken down in 2016 for some reason.

“There is help for these birds,” Boles said. “We have a responsibility to help protect these birds.”

WEB EXTRA VIDEO: Hear why the egret rookery has raised health concerns

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