TAYLOR, Texas (KXAN) — Still months before Independence Day, the City of Taylor is considering relocating its annual fireworks show to keep protected white egrets safe.

The decision comes after the 2022 July 4 celebration spooked the birds, some of which flew into nearby powerlines and died.

“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 to KXAN after the event. “Oncor 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.”

At a meeting in November, Taylor City Council heard a report from the Texas A&M Agriculture Extension Agency about the white egrets that roost on the island in Murphy Park.

Egrets are one of a number of migratory birds with state and federal protections.

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 actually set up agreements with other countries — where these birds travel back and forth — to protect species across borders, but some neighborhoods in Texas have become overrun with these birds.

The Texas A&M report noted the ebbs and flows in the egret population in the city and its impact on noise and cleanliness around the park and nearby neighborhoods.

After that presentation, another followed which shared several potential locations the fireworks show could move to in 2023.

Several options were at least 1,000 feet away from the island in the middle of the pond, where the birds roost. The last site was around 200-300 feet away, according to the presentation.

No action was taken at this meeting to decide where the new fireworks site would be. Council members accepted the report made by the Texas A&M Agriculture Extension Agency representative.