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Saturday, July 13, 2024 at 4:41 AM

Flock parades for second year at Murphy Park

Flock parades for second year at Murphy Park
Around 100 people attended the first Taylor Bird Parade last year, according to Julie Rydell of Good Life Taylor. This year’s edition will take place Saturday, April 6. Participants are encouraged to dress up in bird regalia. The three best costumes will win an award. Photo courtesy of Julie Rydell

Taylor will be for the birds during an upcoming Murphy Park event.

Good Life Taylor is hosting its second Taylor Bird Parade Saturday, April 6 at 10 a.m. at Murphy Park.

Parade participants will dress up as birds, bird watchers or characters associated with the word “bird,” according to Julie Rydell of Good Life Taylor.

“You don’t have to go to the coast, we have a lot of really cool waterfowl that come here,” Rydell said. “People like to get dressed up at Halloween, so we’ll give them an opportunity to dress up in the spring.”

Rydell said the event was started last year as a way to raise awareness about the unique birds that call the island in Murphy Park home.

The parade will begin at Memorial Field, go down Davis Street, turn on Lake Drive and then walk down to the park’s lake.

Afterwards, bird experts from Texas Parks and Wildlife and Good Water Chapter Master Naturalists will give a presentation. This year’s parade will include a live bird display by All Things Wild Rehabilitation, a craft table and a performance by ACC’s Afro-Cuban ensemble at the Percussion Park at 11 a.m.

Rydell said cattle egrets, which occupy the island, or rookery, on the lake, can get a bad rap from Taylor residents. Rydell said since the birds cannot be moved, she thinks residents should try to find ways to celebrate them.

“The egrets are notorious in Taylor and have been maligned by residents over the years, but the cattle egrets are a protected species and once they begin to nest, they cannot be disturbed,” Rydell continued. “Good Life understands the history stemming from a poor decision many years ago that destroyed their habitat and forced the egrets into the neighborhoods surrounding the park. That wasn’t their fault.”

Rydell said the rookery is diverse, with more than just cattle egrets staying in the lake.

She said the rookery hosts several different species of herons and egrets including great blue herons, great egrets, domestic geese and ducks, snowy egrets, little blue herons, green herons, double-crested cormorants, tropical cormorants, yellow-crowned night herons and black-bellied whistling ducks.

Secret costume judges will award the top three “best birds” after the parade concludes.

A coloring contest for kids in second through fifth grade is also part of the festivities. The most creative works will receive a handmade bird house, created by Trent Pokorny, a local firefighter.

The event is free to the public. Good Life Taylor is a nonprofit that raises money for community events and community projects, with a specific focus on the city’s parks department. One of the organization’s more recent projects is the completion of Percussion Park, which was funded last year.


Taylor Press