Nets to Reduce Grackles Please Some, Anger Others

By: Ashlea Sigman Email
By: Ashlea Sigman Email

Grackles are monitoring the parking lot at the Kroger on Longmire, in College Station.

"They're definitely annoying," said Charity Linder.

"They are annoying, they're loud. That's the biggest thing, is they're annoying," said Wendi Owen.

"They cover up your car with themselves and what they leave behind," said Richard Duble.

Kroger officials asked the owners of their Rock Prairie shopping center to do something about their grackle situation. The collective solution was to put nets over some the trees near the front of the store.

However, some Audubon Society members say other, smaller birds are getting caught in the nets.

Charlie Rohack runs The Eyes of Texas, a bird wildlife rescue, rehabilitation, and release center. She says people who've found the birds, have brought them to her sanctuary.

"Probably in the past week and a half about 12 birds, and that's 12 too many," said Rohack

Only one wren survived.

"They were coming in dead on arrival. We couldn't save them they were so dehydrated," said Rohack.

Though Rohack agrees the grackles are a problem, she says the store needs to find another solution.

"These birds are all protected under federal law and what they're doing is just not right," said Rohack. "They need to take these nets down."

A Kroger spokesperson says it was customer complaints that prompted them to put the nets up, after the grackles attacked an elderly customer.

Kroger managers say if they hear of other birds stuck in the nets, they call the shopping center owner, who then calls the net company, to get the birds out.

Brazos County Game Wardens and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have been notified about the nets.

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