Birds' Nest Puts Canadian Music Festival Preparations On Hold

Ottawa Bluesfest

Birds' Nest Puts Canadian Music Festival Preparations On Hold

Relocating the festival's main stage is "not realistic", according to Monahan, who said he hopes to find a workable solution with Environment Canada. The bird and the four eggs - which enjoy protected status in Canada - are nestled on a patch that would normally be directly underneath the main stage.

Federal officials rushed to protect the nest and the eggs, hiring a security guard to watch over it 24 hours a day and cordoning off the area with yellow tape.

Several thousand music fans are set to flock to the site for the 10-day festival starting next week. "In the event of nest abandonment, eggs will be transported to a rehabilitation facility to provide the best probability for survival", said Amélie Desmarais, a spokesperson for the ministry, in an emailed statement.

Nearby, construction crews sat idle, waiting for the go-ahead to start setting up the stages, fencing, portable toilets, and food and drink kiosks.

We've seen it all in the past, the outcome of major music festivals can be affected by any number of variables, such as of low sales, bad weather, or headliners pulling out at the last minute... but we've never seen one be jeopardized by something as small as a bird.

Killdeer are not endangered birds but are a federally-protected migratory species in both the USA and Canada.

Mr Monahan said possibilities include moving the nest or gathering up the eggs and sending them to a wildlife centre for hatching. "It is highly unlikely that the activity level - which will be tremendous in a week - would be conducive to the eggs or the bird continuing to be here".

"There was a big learning curve, those of us involved with the festival had to quickly get up to speed on what needed to be done, so certainly it's not something we'd like to go through again", Monahan said. Though some conservationists argue that some birds will abandon their eggs if they are moved.

Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary executive director Monika Melichar took each of the four killdeer eggs from their nest and placed them in a custom-built nest and walked away with her fingers crossed.

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