Egrets die, hatchlings fall from trees during Texas fireworks show

TAYLOR, Texas — A Fourth of July fireworks show in a central Texas city turned deadly for several birds, as the loud noises caused them to scatter and fly into nearby power lines, authorities said.

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Some of the egret hatchlings fell from their perches in nearby trees during the fireworks display in Murphy Park in Taylor, KXAN-TV reported.

People had gathered to watch the show when the birds, startled by the loud noises, scattered and struck power transformers, causing a power outage in the city located about 35 miles northeast of Austin, according to the television station.

“The Taylor Police Department reports that at 9:16 p.m., when the city fireworks display began, the egrets began flying quickly away from the city park and struck four power transformers, which caused a power outage from 4th Street to Circleville,” a city spokesperson said in a statement. “(The) Oncor (Electric Company) was notified, and they were able to restore power by approximately 1 a.m. We do not know at this time the number of egrets involved or if they survived the encounter.”

Egrets have been known to nest at the island on the lake adjacent to Murphy Park, the Taylor Press newspaper reported. Egrets were discovered on the lake in 2008, according to the East Wilco Insider.

Taylor resident Alison Dito said she was at Murphy Park with her son Monday night.

“My son called me and said, ‘Did you see that?’” Dito told KXAN. “He said when the first fireworks went off, there was a massive explosion above our heads, because a bunch of birds flew panicked and hit power lines.”

Nee Palacios said she has been watching the fireworks for years, but never saw anything like she did on Monday.

“Out of nowhere, a wave of birds all came at once and blew up the transformer, so the power went out, and it took some time to get the power back up,” Palacios told KXAN.