Birds Swarming Around Shopping Center In Sherman - - No One Gets You Closer

Birds Swarming Around Shopping Center In Sherman


SHERMAN, TX -- We're learning more tonight about a Sherman intersection that's often surrounded by grackles. An expert tells us the shrubbery and the insects available for the birds help attract them there.

Many people don't mind the big black birds often seen perched in a line along electric wires and signs, but for others they are big trouble.

One worker near the intersection says she believe the birds, which tend to fly around in large groups,  have even caused traffic accidents. They also leave their calling card on cars in the parking lot.

They're a common sight at the intersection of Highways 75 and 82 in Sherman. "When they go to take off, it's just a big swarm of them, a big black cloud of them," says witness Michael Wright.

"I've been here two-and-a-half years and it's pretty much every day all year round," says witness Amber Sutton.

So why are they here at this particular corner? The theories abound. "They're just being birds. They're attracted to the power lines because of the heat," says witness Trish Ford.

"I just assume with all the eating establishments over here and the trash and whatnot that they're just looking for something to eat," says Wright.

"We were setting out in front of the hotel and they were my buddy said, like they looked like they had been pretty healthy, as in a lot of them," says witness Tom Haneline.

Workers at nearby stores say chirping isn't all the grackles do. "Customers don't like to part out there a lot," says witness Logan Rigdon. "They're like, oh we gotta got to get out of here quick so we don't get bird poop all over our cars."

"Pretty much any time I'm in this area there's like tons of birds around roosting and whatnot," says witness Candy Johnson.

"Pretty much at least once a week have to run it through the car wash pretty good," says Sutton.

"There's a lot of accidents in front of the store because of the birds," says Ford. "The birds will swoop down or they'll be on the ground and the birds will swoop down and the cars plow into em and it's easy to lose control."

Many people tell us they've been spotting the birds here for years and it doesn't even seem to matter the time of year. We went to a bird expert for answers.

"They feed on insects and so they'll pick insects of the grills of cars and of course then the lights will attract insects around the parking lots," says ornithologist Sandy Beach.

Beach, a retired Austin College lab manager, says students did a summer project a few years ago and located many nests near the intersection.

"They got in the neighborhood of at least 300 nests in all those shrubs there they were really surprised by how many were there," says Beach.

"It doesn't bother me at all. They're God's creatures doing their thing," says Wright.

In addition to the insects, Beach says the shrubbery around the shopping center helps attract them there. He says the species are the great-tailed grackle and the common grackle.