Blackbirds invade Sheridan Road parking lot

 Lawton_For years, hundreds of blackbirds, or grackles, have plagued Lawton businesses--especially the Walmart on Sheridan and Ferris. All looking to roost in trees, power poles, lightstands-- wherever they can find space.

But now Walmart is fighting back. They've trimmed back the branches of several trees in their parking lot, hoping that will discourage the birds from flocking there.

Dr. Brannon Jackson, a Lawton veterinarian, says the birds can be more than just a nuisance, and damage trees.


"Birds carry a really bad disease called histoplasmosis that people can get and animals can get upper airway funnel disease," said Dr. Jackson.


Dr. Jackson said cutting off the branches may stop the problem at Walmart--but blackbirds will just migrate someplace else.

So nearby residents may now have to find a way to get rid of them.

"There are several companies that make noisemaking devices that spook them off whether they be loud bangs, or some real effective predatory noisemaking things that mimic other birds, for instance, that spooks them," said Dr. Jackson.