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Nesting herons disturb California woman

herons August 3, 1997
Web posted at: 9:34 p.m. EDT (0134 GMT)

(CNN) -- As far as Nellie Nunley is concerned, the neighborhood in Stockton, California, is going to the birds.

Blue herons have made a home in the big pine tree in her front yard, nesting high up in the branches. She finds this objectionable and wants to cut down the tree so the rare and endangered birds won't come around anymore.

Nunley, 87, cites bird droppings and the occasional dead frog and fish dropped by the birds during mealtime. "I'm bound to inhale some of that," she says. "I have to sweep everything up. I sweep the whole yard every day or two."

Some of her neighbors also complain the birds are loud, their noises disturbing.

Nesting nuisances in Nellie Nunley's yard
video icon 1.2 MB/31 sec. QuickTime movie

"I get 'em in my tree almost every day, and my dad has to take the water hose and squirt them and they usually leave," said Wanda Hays, Nunley's neighbor.

Nunley has proposed chopping down the tree, but there's a problem with that. The herons are nesting, and according to the state Fish and Wildlife Department, the breeding birds are off limits until they leave the tree -- around October.

"I just feel helpless," Nunley said. "I don't know what to do."


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