From the editor: Orange is for the birds

Published 12:31 pm Saturday, January 4, 2020

Dawn Burleigh, Editor

Bird sanctuaries are nature facilities that advocate the conservation of various species of birds and their natural habitats while promoting rehabilitation and survival. Most sanctuaries exclusively help birds, but some include other animal species. The birds helped are unwanted pets, endangered species or local wildlife.

Many birds go to sanctuaries as a result of their owners’ inability or unwillingness to continue caring for them. Private pet owners transfer the largest number of exotic birds to sanctuary facilities. Bird sanctuaries are also established to protect the birds of the area from suffering due to territory lost as a result of commercial development according to

Bird sanctuary, as defined by Collins Dictionary, is an area of land in which birds are protected and encouraged to breed.

According to Sec. 2.305 of the City of Orange Code of Ordinances, the entire area embraced within the corporate limits of the City of Orange, Texas, be and the same is hereby designated as a bird sanctuary, and therefore, subject to the exceptions noted in Paragraph B, Article 874 of the Penal Auxiliary Laws of the State of Texas, it shall be unlawful to trap, hunt, shoot or attempt to shoot or molest in any manner any bird or wildfowl, or to disturb or destroy birds’ nest or wild fowls’ nests in the corporate limits of the City of Orange, Texas.

Interestingly, keeping a hog is unlawful. 

Sec. 2.304: It shall be unlawful for any person to keep one or more hogs in the city, except in annexed areas by persons who, at the time of such annexation were keeping hogs, and then only if such hogs were kept under clean and sanitary conditions; provided, such persons, shall not increase the number of hogs which were kept prior to such annexation, or increase the number after such number becomes diminished; and provided further in no circumstances shall hogs be kept closer than 300 feet from a residence other than that of the owner.

Certain wild animals are also prohibited in the city of Orange.

Sec. 2.308 – It shall be unlawful for any person except in a medical research project under institutional supervision, circus, amusement park or zoo, to possess or maintain any of the following types of wild animals in the City of Orange: bears, tigers, lions, venomous snakes, apes, foxes, raccoons, ringtails, bobcats, coyotes, martens, wolverine, wolves or any other wild animal capable of or inclined to do serious bodily harm to human or other animals or fowl.

Discovering these ordinances happened as I was searching for the ordinance for discharging a firearm within the city limits of Orange, which, is: It shall be unlawful for any person, except a peace officer in the discharge of his official duties or a person within the confines of a gun club, pistol or rifle range approved by the city council to discharge any firearm within the city, according to Sec. 7.301 of the Code of Ordinances for the City of Orange.

Firing a weapon inside the city limits reminded me of signs I saw, which years ago, stating Orange was a Bird Sanctuary. I wondered if it was still true as I cannot recall where the signs were or the last time I saw one. It was good to see Orange still cares for its feathered friends and is a sanctuary for the birds.

But let us also remember Sec. 6.302 – It shall be unlawful and constitute an offense for a person to dispose of “litter” except in a container as defined in Section 6.301, or in an authorized sanitary waste disposal site, or in another approved area, depository or vehicle designated for transport or disposal of litter, trash, garbage or waste. 

Areas such as 15th Street and John Ave. being used as a dumping ground is not acceptable. This is not just a city of Orange problem but an Orange County problem. 

We all need to work together to find a solution to prevent further littering and restore pride in our hometown. 


Dawn Burleigh is the general manager and editor of The Orange Leader. She can be reached at