Aired on KQED Radio's The California Report Magazine on Friday, August 22, 2008.
Yes, there’s yellow police tape blocking off Memorial Park in Willows, CA. But it’s not indicative of anything sinister. Just something loud. And really smelly. For the past three years, this farm town in the Sacramento Valley has been overwhelmed by birds -- egrets, and their black-crested night heron friends. This year, about 2,000 birds nested in the park’s trees. The lawn is turning gray, the guano is killing the trees, and the birds are definitely annoying Willows’ residents, who’ve stopped using the park for lunch breaks and Easter egg hunts.